Baskin review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
Who said Turkish cinema can’t be about horror? Baskin takes famous horror tropes, turns them head over heels and spits a final product that’s kind of hard to evaluate. On one hand, it’s very well made; it’s eerie, features unimaginable gore (by all standards) and ventures forth in places whence no hero, horror-junkie or otherwise, would dare to follow. On the other however, Baskin has trouble following through with its plot, and features a somewhat weak story that is being told countless times over and again. Baskin is an okay film for a first try to say the least - but comes up short when compared to other masterpieces of the same genre it occupies.
Baskin deliberately creeps in and out of focus, mistakes dreams for reality and vice versa. The camera sets its eye on seemingly irrelevant objects that will prove important for the plot further down the road. All scenes are given the atmospheric treatment and when everything falls silent – you know something is plotting to do nasty things from within the shadows. A lurker like no other.
The story is straightforward, at times feeling as if director Can Evrenol deliberately omitted explanations just to mess with one’s mental state. He leaves extensive amount of non-happenings for the audience’s own interpretation, while at the same time satisfying the needs for blood in occasional bursts of splattered somethings and walls smeared with blood by unknown wrongdoers.
Underneath, Baskin is all about simple regrets and how they can manufacture fear to spiral one’s mind out of control. It’s also a commentary about gullible people and how easy they can be manipulated into obscurity. And here obscurity equals death. Furthermore, the props, scenography and camera angles perfectly showcase how gullible and naïve folks can meet their creator stumbling upon such cults.
And oh my, was this cult beyond brutal.
As previously pointed out, amidst the cacophony of noises and visual stimuli, there is not much happening when it comes to the plot. People investigate some matters, hurry to conclusions and open doors without meaningful motivation to back their actions up. In the case of Baskin, it seems the director is more talented than what the script initially offered, but he nevertheless made up his mind to shoot this film no matter what. If that is the case - then kudos to you Can Evrenol in standing for your passion and what is ultimately right.
Also shout out to Mehmet Cerrahoglu for his portrayal of a cult leader that brings chills down the spine without uttering a single audible sentence. And when he speaks, his sole tone of voice makes you instantly hooked to his persona, and makes you want to become an acolyte to his strange, occult ways.
Baskin is a decent horror feature which could’ve been much better if only the producers aimed for a higher quality screenplay than what they’ve got.