In an attempt to diversify my anglo-centric tastes, I decided to give Baskin, a Turkish horror movie, a try. While I don’t regret the decision — I’ve seen way worse American productions — I also can’t say it was time well spent.
It starts off promising enough: the production is surprisingly good; the casual setting of the early scenes nicely contrasts the feeling of dread induced by the music and lighting. All of the actors do a fine job, even though their characters are rather cliché. There is a certain 80s-inspired corniness that I can appreciate: neon lights and sinister synth music are having a comeback in indie films after all.
Director Can Evrenol clearly did his homework, studying and referencing all the classics: The Hills Have Eyes, Cannibal Holocaust, a bit of Blair Witch, a bit of David Lynch and Guillermo del Toro… What sounds like an enticing mélange, however, turns into a muddled mess. Baskin is so over-inspired, it can’t decide what it wants to be: a trippy psycho-thriller, a torture-porn gore fest, or a mysterious, understated slow-burner…
Most horror films have a hard time pulling off a worthy showdown, but Baskin’s just drags on without going anywhere. And so the movie shifts quickly from pleasant surprise to confused snooze. With no coherent story to speak of and hardly any scares, Baskin wants to be everything but ends up being nothing.