Movie Review: Baskin

Published on March 15th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Horror, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews, Upcoming Movies |

By Jeffery X Martin

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The new Turkish movie by Can Evrenol, Baskin, is one of the best horror movies of the decade so far. It intrigues, it horrifies, it disgusts, but it is never anything but an excellent example of how to make nightmares come to life on screen.

The set-up is simple. A squad of macho cops is called upon for backup in a remote part of the country called Ingelseac. On the way to the crime scene, they hit a pedestrian and their van slides off the road into a river. They can’t find the corpse of the man they hit, but they find a family catching frogs in the woods. The family directs the officers to an abandoned police station on the other side of the forest. There’s a cop car with its lights on in front of the building, so the police go in to investigate.

That’s a bad idea. It’s a horrible idea. Things go from bad to what the actual fuck real quick, and it becomes practically impossible to look away from the screen.

Let’s put it this way.
Remember that one scene in Event Horizon where the crew looks at the files after the ship came back from wherever it went, and there’s screaming and bleeding and general mayhem?
The Event Horizon went to the basement of the building in Baskin.

Visually rich, there are arcane symbols all over this movie. One doesn’t necessarily know what they mean, but they hit some kind of primal fear button, like the Stickman figures in The Blair Witch Project. Runes. Horrible diagrams. The sense that you’re seeing things you shouldn’t, like you’ve gotten a peek behind the curtain of reality, and now you can’t tell what plane of existence you’re on. It is unnerving, to say the very least.

Baskin may also be the filthiest film in years. I mean, actual filth. You thought the family in The Witch was dirty and mud-caked? Wait till you get a load of Baskin. Gore and dirt and hay and raffia cover grotesque characters in a shambling dance of depravity and despair, kind of like the bar at Applebee’s two hours before closing on a Friday.

Baskin is a bad dream of a movie, so it doesn’t explain things as much as it implies them. Your logical brain will want firm answers, but your subconscious mind will already have processed it. Relax. All the answers are provided, so don’t get all twisted.

It’s a weird, nasty movie. Even if its influences are obvious, especially in the blood deluge that is the last half hour, they are simply that: influences, as opposed to a rip-off. The sense of unease Baskin delivers is chilling and the camera doesn’t move away from much.

If you’ve been complaining about how lame horror movies are lately, put your money where your mouth is and see Baskin. It delivers the throat-punch you’ve been waiting for.

Baskin will be released in theaters and On Demand by IFC Midnight on March 25. Do it.

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