Baskin (2015)

baskinFive cops go on a very late night call to the middle of nowhere.  On their way, their hit something on the road and crash close to the source of the call, as they head into the property, things take a turn for the very weird. Baskin is based on the short of the same name and is written by Ogul Can Eren, Can Evrenol, Cem Ozuduru, and Ercin Sadikoglu.

The way they built the film with dreams and flashbacks leads to a story that could have been muddled but isn’t as it works with them and integrates them well.  Of course, this leads to a story that is not entirely linear and may not be everyone’s cup of tea.  The direction by Can Evrenol demonstrates talent with only a few scenes showing that this is his first feature and that his directorial experience is not wide and varied yet.  Most of the writers and the director are newer to completely new to making films, yet this shows only very, very scarcely, which is a testament to their pool of talent.

The cast here is also fairly new to the business with two standout performance by Gorken Kasal as Arda, the lead amongst a good group of actors playing cops going on an ill-fated call.  Kasal gives a layered performance of a character with a childhood that is still affecting him, while trying to be the best cop he can be, he also shows a good emotional range.  Also worth noting is newbie Mehmet Cerrahoglu as Baba, The Father, the cult leader Arda and the cops encounter.  Kasal and Cerrahoglu play well against each other. Many scenes in “Baskin” are trippy and visually very interesting, leading to sometimes packing a lot in a quick scene which serves to disorient as much as engage the viewer.

As the film advances, things go from weird to seriously messed up and the gore factor goes through the roof.  Blood, guts, everything gets thrown around.  The effects for these are of varying quality.  For most of the film, the effects are great, done practically and looking quite realistic, especially once put in a darkly-lit, fast-moving scenes.  However, a few of the effects, seen in better light and for longer periods, look a bit cheaper, of lesser quality which can break the tension of the scene they are in.  Adding to the visuals and the effects is the music which works well here, helping sustain the suspense and raising up the creep factor by underlining the fear felt by the protagonists.

Baskin is a movie once should see as it shows what short film makers can do when expending on one of their shorts such as what happened with Turbo Kid (but much, much darker here).  It’s a tense film with scenes to make almost anyone uncomfortable.  The story starts off with an effective opening, then keeps things more or less almost creepy until it suddenly amps up the creep factor and then the gore becomes prevalent making for a suspenseful experience with some gross out moments.  By the end of the film, more questions have been asked than answered, leaving the viewer to think a bit and come to their own conclusions.