29 September 2015

BASKIN (/Slash Filmfestival 2015) + BASKIN (2013 Short Film)


Turkey, 2015
Director: Can Evrenol


What do the 2011 cult classic "The Raid" and this year's "Baskin" have in common? At first sight, not much. "The Raid" is an Indonesian martial-arts action film, "Baskin" is a Turkish horror film - but if you look closer, you realize that not only did both movies seemingly came out of nowhere in August / September and received an incredible hype in a minimum of time ("The Raid" in August / September 2011, "Baskin" in August / September 2015), but also that "Baskin" is actually the Turkish word for "Raid" (mind blown)!

Well, while "The Raid" totally lived up to its hype and surpassed all of my expectations, "Baskin" turned out to be one of this year's bitterest disappointments. The debut feature of Can Evrenol (based on his 2013 short film of the same name), which follows a group of policemen who stumble upon a black mass in an abandoned building, is a super-weird mess that can't decide what it wants to be: the Turkish "Hellraiser"? Some kinda Lynchian surrealism-fest in hell? A simple plot-twist mindfuck? Whatever Evrenol wanted to achieve with "Baskin", it just didn't work out.

"Baskin" starts out really great with fun dialogue, a couple of one-dimensional yet interesting characters who share an immensely believable chemistry, super-eerie atmosphere, shitloads of stunningly gorgeous visuals and a vibrant soundtrack that consists of moody electro music and Turkish pop songs. Yet, after the first half, the tense and intriguing build-up breaks down completely, thanks to some frustratingly slow pacing, annoying flashbacks and a finale that is just weak. Evrenol seemingly builds up to a scary and shocking gorefest-climax, but when he finally reaches that climax, he suddenly pulls out and instead of giving us total fucking insanity, he just gives us some lame cannibalism, some even more lame semi-rape, lots of boring talks about hell and sins and keys and stuff that we basically already heard in "Hellraiser", as well as a final twist that is not just rather foreseeable, but also completely pointless - and even though Mehmet Cerrahoglu (basically the Turkish Michael Berryman) gives a fab performance as the movie's, erm, main villain, he can't save the movie from being a massive letdown.

The only other Turkish horror ilm I've seen so far is "The Voice", a conventional and not-so-imaginative supernatural scarefest, yet overall so much more satisfying than "Baskin". Don't believe the hype!

(11minute short)

Turkey, 2013
Director: Can Evrenol


I loved the short film before I've seen the full feature, and I love it even more now that I have seen the full feature. The "Baskin" short simply delivers. Captivating atmosphere, gripping suspense, splendid eerieness and a fantastic ending that is wild and brutal and in-your-face, incl. wonderfully aggressive music, slightly unpleasant images of mad creatures straight outta "Martyrs" and an overall shockingness that is just genius.

The absence of any explanation or clarification works perfectly and makes you even more scared, while the full feature spends way too much time explaining it all in detail. Evrenol is obviously a talented filmmaker who knows how to pull of a badass short film, but turning his short into a feature via a screenplay that was written by four(!) different persons... well, that wasn't exactly a good decision.

"Baskin" short rules! "Baskin" long fails.


  1. Baskin 2015 has an awesome cover/poster, but judging by your score, the 2013 short is the one to watch :)

  2. Awful, ultrasubjective commentary. Do not mislead people and prevent them from seeing what is truly a horror masterpiece.

    1. Awful, ultrasubjective comment. Do not mislead people in trying to make them go see this horribly overrated piece of boredom.


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