Baskin

Review by Sophie Yapp @sophieyapp

Directed by

Can Evrenol

Starring

Ergun Kuyucu Gorkem Kasal Mehmet Cerrahoglu

Anticipation.

Can Evrenol has been known to produce horror shorts that are sinister, sadistic and spine chilling in equal measures.

Enjoyment.

The unrelenting provision of gore means that at times, it’s incredibly hard to watch, but also incredibly hard to turn away.

In Retrospect.

Sinister? Sadistic? Spine chilling? Check, check, check. This is a really nifty modern horror.

The gore arrives thick and fast in Turkish director Can Evrenol’s inventive horror carve-up.

A man sticks a knife into the eye of a police officer. He repeatedly stabs it, then proceeds to lick the blood from the blade, relishing in the taste of his latest victim. This is Baskin, the latest from Turkish genre director Can Evrenol. His film pivots around five police officers summoned to an abandoned building in Inceagac, a town preceded by its unsettling reputation. There, they descend stairs down to what can only be described as Hell. Not for the faint hearted, Baskin makes for a truly gruesome, masochistic study of the thin line between heroes and anti-heroes.

From the outset, Baskin (which translates as ‘raid’) adapts the eerie, conventional horror set with the flickering of lights, dimly lit rooms and the honing in on amplified sounds. Frogs (considered doom-bringers in mythology) frequently appear, insinuating the ominous direction of the film. The police officers arrive and are ready to attack their unknown threat, but as the film progresses it becomes abundantly clear that they’re the ones being threatened. An early scene shows the police officers at a dinner, crudely discussing their prediction for prostitutes. This vulgarity immediately makes it hard for viewers to take a shine to them, corresponding with Evrenol’s intentions to engineer a stand-off between some bad guys and some even badder guys.

Largely filmed from the viewer’s perspective, Baskin meticulously forces you to witness every gut-wrenching moment. Shaking cameras heighten the intensity of fleeing scenes that switch frequently from the hunters to the hunted. Guided by the sounds of drumming and haunting chimes, suspense builds as the film gains momentum. Dingy and derelict abandoned cells shift to close-ups of brutalised chained bodies hanging from blood-smeared walls.

It’s at this moment that Baskin truly comes into its own, with animalistic beings butchering the deceased and tossing their guts to the floor where many of them crawl on all fours like beasts, scraping at the dirt with their bloodied hands. “Hell is not a place you go. You carry Hell with you at all times,” are the haunting words of a torturer to one of his victims, just moments before stabbing a clawed finger into his open gut wound, causing him to bleed profusely from the mouth. At the hands of Evrenol, Hell may be carried with you for some sleepless nights to come.

Published 15 Jul 2016

Tags: Turkish Cinema

Anticipation.

Can Evrenol has been known to produce horror shorts that are sinister, sadistic and spine chilling in equal measures.

Enjoyment.

The unrelenting provision of gore means that at times, it’s incredibly hard to watch, but also incredibly hard to turn away.

In Retrospect.

Sinister? Sadistic? Spine chilling? Check, check, check. This is a really nifty modern horror.

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