28th Feb2016

Glasgow Frightfest: ‘Baskin’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Gorkem Kasal, Ergun Kuyucu, Muharrem Bayrak, Mehmet Cerrahoglu, Fatih Dokgöz | Written by Ogulcan Eren Akay, Can Evrenol, Cem Ozuduru, Ercin Sadikoglu | Directed by Can Evrenol

baskin-image

It’s safe to say there has been a considerable amount of hype surrounding Baskin within the horror community. From glowing reviews to – bizarrely – action figures of the characters involved, if you read any horror websites you can’t fail to have noticed the film has become something of a cause-celebre. After seeing the film for myself I can’t think of a single reason why…

The plot, what there is of it, sees a police squad respond to a call for backup at an abandoned building in the middle of nowhere, where they stumble upon a Black Mass being performed by a nightmare cabal of subhuman cannibalistic freaks and their rubber-faced leader (who looks remarkably like a Spitting Image puppet), with a penchant for imaginative blood ceremonies. In reality that flimsy plot is little more than an excuse for director Can Evrenol to hang some gory and ridiculously OTT imagery.

Surprisingly Baskin offers absolutley nothing new. You’d think that a Turkish take on horror would at least be able to bring a new perspective on the genre. Instead it would seen Evrenol has watched one to many American horror movies, his film and his visuals being heavily influenced by the likes of Hellraiser and Hostel. In fact that probably the best way to describe Baskin: Hellraiser meets Hostel, with some time and space bending thrown in for some good measure. Again, something that horror fans have seen on countless other occassions.

It’s not all bad. The opening scenes set in the restaurant as the police squad all talk shit to each other is a brilliant way to introduce the characters. It’s that playful banter between the cops that brings you into the film and keeps you interested. Sadly it turns out there’s actually more tension in the end of that scene – as one of the cops argues with the employees – than in the rest of the film. For once the gang are on the road (and the briliant sing-a-long has ended) Baskin falls completely apart; becoming little more that a set of ideas strung together with zero logic. That lack of logic is undoubtedl why Evrenol plays with time and space too.

In the end Baskin is little more than a good argument that some shorts should stay that way. Short.

** 2/5

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