In this Turkish horror movie, five cops who are called in as backup to an area notorious for supernatural incidents. On their way there, this group confronts a series of strange incidents that lead them to a black mass organised by a satanic cult. While all this is going on, we are given the background story of one of the cops, Arda, who is subconsciously able to sense evil or the supernatural. It turns out that Arda is, in fact, the ‘special’ one who is selected by the high priest of the cult to be sacrificed.

 

Then, there is one cop who is the first among the group to experience the weird events of the night and faints in the bathroom for no apparent reason. There is Chief Remzi, who has been Arda’s guardian after his parents passed away. There is a conversation between Arda and Remzi about how Remzi has always been able to sense that something evil is always looking over them. Arda confesses about his confrontation with the supernatural as a kid and Remzi explains that if Arda looks carefully, he too would be able to see what Remzi sees. There are many references to memories, dreams and the subconscious which gives this movie a very surreal and eerie feel and you never know what’s real and what’s not. While this is an interesting attempt to show fantasy horror, it is confusing because there is no structure to the story and no clarification, whatsoever. The characters of the film are not given enough depth which makes it hard for the audience to be invested in the story. One of the cops, Yavuz, gets into a fight with a waiter at a restaurant and is deliberately portrayed as a one dimensional bad cop who often abuses his power.

This film is gory! The director does not hesitate for one moment to show all the torture, sadism and body horror in slow and long takes. There is a lot of blood and a lot of naked bodies and the film succeeds in making the audience cringe with disgust and horror. The depiction of the high priest in the cult is done well. He is hateful, weird and scary, all at the same time. These are all the good parts of the film. Otherwise, the film fails to make a coherent story. The pacing of the movie changes often and the first act is particularly interesting when we are introduced to the cops and they start their journey. But the story stops making sense because the focus then shifts on capturing the torture elements instead. The film attempts to transcend from dream state to reality and back again, and it is done well in many scenes, but the difference between these two realms is never explained. The script is all over the place, especially in the latter half of the movie when the torture scenes start.

For a fan of body horror movies, Baskin will be a delight to watch. But don’t expect a lot from the story because this film is mainly an attempt at the fantasy horror genre rather than a more plot-based film like a thriller or drama. Many scenes are rather unnecessarily disturbing. But for a horror film produced in a country like Turkey not really known for horror or fantasy, this is a good attempt at combining the fantasy and horror genres all in one.

Baskin is in select cinemas