Four cops are summoned to an abandoned police station in a small town when a fellow officer calls for backup. When the policemen arrive on the scene, things immediately get strange but the longer they are there, the weirder things become. Baskin exists in a reality that we are not so sure is reality. It unfolds in a hazy, dreamlike state with cutaways to another time and or dimension.
Baskin (Turkish for Police Raid) is helmed by Turkish native Can Evrenol. Evrenol co-penned the screenplay in conjunction with Ogulcan Eren Akay, Cem Ozuduru, and Ercin Sadikoglu. To say that the narrative is bizarre is an understatement but more on that in a moment.
This is, hands down, one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen. In addition to the constant sense that we never quite know what’s real, there is also the fact that there is nearly no discernible narrative. Is that a bad thing? I’m not sure it is. I would definitely have liked to be left with more answers than questions but I will be thinking about this film for some time.
The film is very visually striking. However, the set lighting was extremely poor and so, some of the sequences have less of an impact than they would have if we were able to see more of what was going on. Some of that was intentionally to create a dark and dreary aesthetic but it seems awfully likely that some of it was also due to budgetary restrictions.
The director’s interpretation of the Hell-like place that the officers wind up in is very different than the hellfire and brimstone we tend to imagine when it comes to mind. But in spite of not looking much like what most people picture Hell to be, Evrenol still creates a place that no one in their right mind would ever want to visit. The film seems to allude to Hell being of our own making and almost treats it like a state of mind. That coupled with the uncertainty as to whether anything that is happening in the film is real or part of an elaborate nightmare makes it an unusual viewing experience.
One of my quips with the film is that it has a lot of torturous violence within its runtime. The director is depicting Hell, so that gives him a certain amount of leverage in what he can get away with. I found it to be a bit more graphic than it had any need to be but gore-seekers will definitely not be disappointed with the level of carnage.
When it comes to lack of narrative cohesion, I tend to prefer the works of directors like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, or Mario Bava. But Evrenol definitely shows a lot of promise in his feature film directorial debut (which is based on his short of the same name). I didn’t love with Baskin but I did like it. And it definitely has me quite curious to see what its director will do next. I would like to see what he can accomplish when given a larger budget.
WICKED RATING: 5.5/10
Director(s): Can Evrenol
Writer(s): Can Evrenol, Ogulcan Eren Akay, Cem Ozuduru, and Ercin Sadikoglu
Stars: Muharrem Bayrak, Mehmet Cerrahoglu, Fatih Dokgöz, Gorkem Kasal
Release Date: March 25, 2016 (VOD)
Studio/ Production Co: IFC Midnight
Length: 97 Minutes