Baskin (film)

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Baskin
Baskin (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCan Evrenol
Written byCan Evrenol
Cem Özüduru
Erçin Sadıkoğlu
Eren Akay
Produced byMo Film
StarringMehmet Cerrahoğlu
Ergun Kuyucu
CinematographyAlp Korfali
Edited byErkan Özekan
Music byJF (Ulas Pakkan & Volkan Akaalp)
Production
company
Mo Film
Distributed byThe Salt Company International
IFC Midnight (United States)
Release dates
Running time
97 minutes
CountryTurkey
LanguageTurkish

Baskin is a 2015 Turkish surrealist horror film directed by Can Evrenol, based on his 2013 short film by the same name. It centers around five police officers who have inadvertently wandered into Hell.

First screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2015, the film marks Evrenol's feature film directorial debut. Actors Muharrem Bayrak and Gorkem Kasal, who had performed in the short film version, returned to star in the full-length film, joined by Ergun Kuyucu, Fatih Dokgoz and Sabahattin Yakut as the five police officers that make up the film's main cast of protagonists. First-time actor Mehmet Cerrahoglu has received positive reviews for his noteworthy performance as the villain, The Father.[1] Cerrahoglu suffers from an ultra rare skin condition which gives him his unique physical appearance.

Plot[edit]

A young boy wakes in the night after hearing strange sexual noises from his mother's bedroom. He notices the TV is showing static, and as he switches it off he is suddenly terrified by a vision from the other side of the room. He screams and tries to enter his mother's room, which is locked, as a hand reaches towards him from the darkness.

A hooded figure delivers a bucket of raw meat to the kitchen of a small restaurant. Five police officers dining there, Remzi, Arda, Yavuz, Apo, and Seyfi, discuss sex. Yavuz tells a bawdy tale of meeting up with a beautiful prostitute who turns out to be a transgender woman, who he ends up having sex with anyway. Seyfi, who has been feeling unwell, runs to the toilet to be sick and notices a frog on the soap stand. Yavuz starts a fight with the restaurant owner's son, and the men decide to leave. Seyfi insists on driving despite his sickness.

Whilst driving the men receive a call for back up from a group of their colleagues who have gone to Inceagac, a town known for being the focus of strange rumors. During the journey Seyfi has a terrifying vision of a bloody figure and accidentally drives their van into a lake.

Stranded, the officers eventually make their way to Inceagac, where they meet the locals, all of whom warn them of the dangers to be found in the village. The five officers make their way to an abandoned building (an Ottoman-era police station), the origin of the distress call.

Once inside the building they discover a fellow policeman in a wildly catatonic state, banging his head against a wall. It is implied that the rest of his police unit have been taken or killed. Seyfi stays with the man as the other four go deeper into the building to investigate. Seyfi discovers a room in which a cult of people, covered in blood and viscera, seem to be having an orgy. He is too terrified to move as the cultists swarm over him, dragging him into their midst.

As the other men continue through the building, they witness horrifying images and are subjected to a number of increasingly bizarre and surreal scenarios. Through flashbacks and dream sequences, it is revealed that Remzi has been like a father figure to Arda, having taken him in as a young man, and that Arda was the young boy in the opening scene.

The remaining men are eventually captured and tied up in a dungeon surrounded by the cultists. A hooded figure known as The Father reveals himself to them; he and the cultists kill Apo, Yavuz and Remzi. The Father explains that hell is not somewhere you go, it's something you carry with you at all times. Arda's flashbacks continue, and in the process a dying Remzi gives him a key, which he uses to overpower the Father and escape from his chains and exit the building.

Laughing triumphantly, Arda runs from the village along a road. He flags down an oncoming vehicle, but the driver doesn't spot him and he is run over. It is revealed that the vehicle is the same police van the men travelled in earlier, and this was the same vision Seyfi had seen. The five men crash once more into the lake, implying that they have actually wandered into Hell.

Cast[edit]

  • Ergun Kuyucu as Boss Remzi
  • Muharrem Bayrak as Yavuz
  • Gorkem Kasal as Arda
  • Fatih Dokgöz as Apo
  • Sabahattin Yakut as Seyfi
  • Mehmet Cerrahoglu as Baba / The Father
  • Sevket Suha Tezel as Master Creep / The Servant
  • Fadik Bülbül as Sister Butcher
  • Mehmet Akif Budak as Diner Footboy

Production[edit]

Baskin was directed by Can Evrenol, who also co-wrote the film, and is based on Evrenol's earlier short film of the same name.[2] The film was independently financed and shot in Istanbul by MO Film, with a budget around $350,000. It was a 28-night shoot, with no days shots, with a month of pre-production and a post-production stage of 2 months. In an interview with Fangoria, director says: "Our permits were at times iffy, so we were always stressed about the authorities finding out what the hell we were doing in some of our crazy locations. We had naked people on set in the most conservative areas of town. That was a constant stress. Also, the time limitations for certain scenes made them really difficult, and that single underwater shot cost us almost half a shooting night."[3]

Release[edit]

Home media[edit]

Capelight Pictures released a Limited Collector's Edition DVD and Blu-ray combo pack in Germany on April 29, 2016.[4] It was later released in the United States by Scream Factory on August 9, 2016, as a two-disk DVD/Blu-ray combo pack.[5]

Reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 78% based on 41 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 6.66/10. Its consensus reads, "Baskin complements its gory thrills with heavy atmosphere and deliberate pacing, adding up to a horror outing that plays with the mind as enthusiastically as it ruins the appetite."[6] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7]

Shock Till You Drop praised the film and drew comparisons to the work of Italian horror director Lucio Fulci, writing "BASKIN feels like a steroidal version of a vintage early 80’s Fulci film; not a rip-off or an homage by any stretch, but an heir to the same philosophies of filmmaking, the same desire to create an unrelenting, dreamscape of Grand Guignol and emotional response."[8] Noel Murray from Los Angeles Times called the film "well made and imaginatively upsetting", while noting that the film's excessive gore might not be for all tastes.[9] Tom Huddleston from Time Out London awarded the film 4/5 stars, calling it "[an] atmospheric, genuinely nightmarish Turkish horror movie". Huddleston praised the film's visuals as being "painstaking and horribly beautiful", while noting that the film's thin plot, and minimal character development.[10]

Richard Whittaker from Austin Chronicle offered the film similar praise, writing, "From the opening moments, he [Evrenol] creates an unnerving mood and a sense of complete cosmology that the humans within it can never fully comprehend. That final sequence is truly squirm-inducing, not least because he changes tone so completely from the opening and middle sequences, from verite, to fast-cut scares, to long, languorous, brooding shots of this incredible antechamber to hell that he has created."[11] Ben Kenigsberg from The New York Times gave the film a positive review, comparing it to A Nightmare on Elm Street for its themes of childhood and dreams, and its lavish use of violence and gore.[12]

The film was not without its detractors, with some critic complaining about the plot lacking any narrative sense. Dennis Harvey from Variety wrote a mixed review, stating "Of interest as a rare modern Turkish horror film, Can Evrenol’s debut feature will be a must-see for fans at fantasy fests, but its initial promise dissipates in a muddle of repetitious phantasmagoria and too little narrative or character development."[13] David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter criticized the film for its nonsensical narrative, writing, "[Baskin] offers little in the way of narrative involvement or scares but doesn't stint on sustained, stylized revulsion."[14] Jake Dee from Arrow in the Head gave the film a score of 5/10, stating, "After an engrossing opener to capture the imagination, too many downturns and repetitive horror tenets are unveiled that detract from the intriguing freshness of the opening. The film is shot well, acted believably and features an unnerving musical score and bouts of violence that are sure to impress some. But when all is said and done, it's hard to come away from the film with anything other than the assurance that director Can Evrenol has a great movie in him somewhere."[15]

Awards[edit]

Baskin won the Best New Director award at Fantasticfest, and The Director's Award at Morbido Fest in 2015.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Movie Review: Baskin - 2015". Flickering Myth. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  2. ^ Miska, Brad (30 June 2017). "Watch the Original 'Baskin' Short That Preluded the Film's Trip to Hell! - Bloody Disgusting". Bloody Disgusting.com. Brad Miska. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Q&A: Director Can Evrenol Delves Into His Truly Twisted "BASKIN" | FANGORIA®". www.fangoria.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-28.
  4. ^ Fabian, Daniel. ""Baskin": Capelight veröffentlicht Horrorschocker ungeschnitten im Mediabook - Blu-ray - DVD-Forum.at". DVD Forum.at. Daniel Fabian. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Baskin (2015) - Can Evrenol". Allmovie.com. Allmovie. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Baskin (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Flixer. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Baskin Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Metacritic. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Advance Review: BASKIN - Shock Till You Drop". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  9. ^ Murray, Noel (April 2016). "Cop thriller 'Baskin' turns into imaginative gore-fest horror film". LA Times.com. Noel Murray. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  10. ^ Huddleston, Tom. "Baskin (2016), directed by Can Evrenol". Time Out.com. Tom Huddleston. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  11. ^ Whittaker, Richard. "Fantastic Fest 2015: Baskin: Drag me to Turkish hell - Screens - The Austin Chronicle". Austin Chronicle.com. Richard Whittaker. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  12. ^ Kenigsberg, Ben (24 March 2016). "Review:'Baskin,' From Turkey, Blends Style and Gore". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  13. ^ Harvey, Dennis (20 September 2015). "Toronto Film Review: 'Baskin'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  14. ^ Rooney, David (15 September 2015). "'Baskin': TIFF Review". The Hollywood Reporter.com. David Rooney. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  15. ^ Dee, Jake (24 March 2016). "Baskin (Movie Review)". JoBlo.com. Jake Dee. Retrieved 10 July 2018.

External links[edit]

Baskin (short film)[edit]