Saturday, October 1, 2016

Film Review: Baskin (2015)

Baskin (Review)
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review

"It has some great visuals, especially for fans of surreal horror, but it just really didn't work out between us."

A group of police officers arrive at an abandoned building as backup for another squad, but they quickly find themselves descending into hell...

Baskin is a very interesting film. I know I say that about a lot of the movies I review, but I mean it this time – I promise. On the surface, the plot can be seen as thin – purposely disjointed to create a sense of mystery. Essentially, a squad comprised of five cops is requested at an abandoned building as backup. When the cops arrive, they find themselves descending into a realm of madness. They suffer for an obscure reason, too. It does have some depth, though. The entire film is pieced together like a dream. In fact, the storytelling is kind of like when someone tries to tell you one of their dreams, but they always have to start over because they forgot something – yeah, I think that's the best way to describe it. It works, though. It's able to keep you engaged. It's not perfect and it often feels like it's being used to cover up some of its other flaws, but it wasn't bad. The ending was also very interesting.

Baskin isn't a film for everyone, though. Although it might have been deliberate, the film often felt unnecessarily disjointed and convoluted. And, when you piece together the puzzle, the image doesn't really resonate. Yes, it is a visual powerhouse, creating bloody images of madness and suffering, especially towards the end, but the plot just doesn't hit home. It's very gory and even a bit disgusting, leaning towards splatterpunk instead of traditional horror. However, despite its gory visuals, it doesn't have the character or buildup to truly resonate. It's atmospheric, it's filled with symbolism, and it's certainly dream-like, but it doesn't really land. It has all of these different pieces, but they just don't connect very well. Aside from that, it also has a wildly inconsistent pace. Particularly, it takes a few moments to play out like a long music video.

The acting was good, though. The cast felt natural throughout most of the film. The film was shot well, too. It uses the classic 'blue-orange' lighting, which wasn't bad – I think it developed the proper mood. The camerawork can be too hectic during some scenes, though. The music was great, too. (Correct me I'm wrong if you've seen it, but one of the tracks was from Cannibal Holocaust, right?) The film was written by Can Evrenol, Cem Özüduru, Erçin Sadıkoğlu, and Eren Akay; Evrenol also directs. I appreciate what they were going for with this film. I didn't actually have many issues with the writing. It was more about things I wish it had – more character, more depth, more suspense etc. I like the concept and vibe of the plot, though. Evrenol is a talented director, too, especially in terms of visual presentation.

Overall, Baskin is a good film. I wanted to love it, I really did, but it just didn't resonate. I still liked it and I'd love to watch it again in the future. I can't recommend it for everyone, but if you're open-minded like myself, you might find yourself with a very interesting horror flick.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, sex (if you can call that sex).

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