Baskin (2015)

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One last review for 2017. I do hope everyone has a wonderful New Year! It is still a day away yet, roughly, but I do hope everyone stays safe if you go out to celebrate. At some point this year I started to make a list of films that were called the best of 2016. Not all of the films were actually released in 2016, like Baskin here, but I am still happy to watch them anyway. By the time I finished my list, I had 29 films on it. With this review, I am left with 11 more to watch yet. I have three more that I know I can watch, so I will probably go ahead and review those here while I wait to see if anyone puts out a “best of” list for this year. As for the remaining eight films on my list, I’m hoping I will get to watch them soon. Still, working 29 films down to 11 isn’t too bad at all. Especially considering I had never heard of any of them before making this list. Let’s see what I thought of Baskin.

Five cops, led by Remzi (Ergun Kuyucu), are at a dinner having fun trying to decide which teams will be winning their soccer matches and giving the new guy Arda (Görkem Kasal) a hard time in general. Once they decide to leave, they are called to provide backup for another unit. On the way there, someone runs out into the road and they police van hits the person. Everyone appears to be fine though, but they can’t find the person that they hit anywhere. Finding out that they aren’t far from where the other unit is at, they walk the rest of the way. They find a police car outside of an abandoned building that was once a police station. Once inside and exploring for a bit, they realize that they weren’t called for backup but were summoned there. A Black Mass is taking place and they are the guests.

Baskin is a movie that comes from Turkey. I do believe this is the first movie from there that I have watched. It was co-written by Ogulcan Eren Akay, Ercin Sadikoglu, Cem Özüduru, and Can Evrenol, who also directed. I was a little surprised that I haven’t heard about this movie just because I now see a few people saying this is a movie everyone is talking about. I was a little worried about the film as it starts out. We get what we eventually learn is a dream sequence to start things off and then we meet the five cops. The stories they tell are kind of funny but rather weird as well, which fits with cop humor. I think the story was trying to show that the cops were being set up, but it was a little hard to tell. One of them isn’t feeling good at all, which sort of plays into things a little bit later on. It isn’t until they get called for backup that the film really starts to hit its stride. It starts off a little slow, but then we start to see what this Black Mass is about. We get all kinds of weird scenes to go with the Black Mass. While most horror movies here in the States that I have watched about this sub-genre doesn’t get very wild, Baskin does. I’m not exactly sure what the cops were wanted for though. It is sort of explained by the leader of the Black Mass, played by Mehmet Cerrahoglu, I didn’t really understand it all. That is fine though, just gives me another reason to want to watch it again.

I really loved how weird some of the scenes were in Baskin. We don’t really get any context to what is happening in some of the scenes. Like we see a room where two women are cutting meat up. Don’t know why, but they are. It would seem that most of the people in this Black Mass are blind. We are shown how this comes about, but again, there isn’t a reason given behind it. It would have been nice to have more of a story behind all of this stuff, but I also think that would have maybe taken something away from the film if it had. There are some scenes in the film that act like dream sequences, except that they aren’t. Arda will be doing something and then he is suddenly back in the dinner talking to Remzi. These scenes can be jarring at first because of the sudden shift in location and what is going on. I didn’t care for that at first, but the more it happened and as I figured out what it had to do with the story, it wasn’t as bad then.

Baskin gets a little bloody in places. From a slit throat, stabbing eyes, out, and getting hit with a sledgehammer, there are some pretty good effects here. That doesn’t include the effects we see with some extras that are scattered around. Things are gory, but not overly so. Of course, some of you may not think that. The acting was also very good. I especially enjoyed Görkem Kasal in the lead role. He seemed to hit just the right emotion when it was needed. Muharrem Bayrak was also very good in his role. I didn’t really like his character, which was Yavuz, at first though. He won me over though late in the film. Mehmet Cerrahoglu made a pretty good bad guy for the film. He has this weird look about him that really fit the role.

I can’t say that I have watched a lot of movies that are about Black Mass. There have been a few and what I remember most about them is just people in long black robes. Maybe a sacrifice here and there as well, but never anything like what I watched in Baskin. There are things I didn’t like about it, but overall I thought it was a great film. The whole weird vibe had me hooked into it as soon as it started. I’m sure I would have completely freaked out walking into something like what we see in this film. Like all movies, Baskin isn’t for everyone. If you do decide to give it a chance, I sure hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did. It is currently streaming on Netflix if you have it. It is subtitled, as I’m sure you figured it would be. It is a very dark film in tone, but well worth the watch.

4 out of 5 Whatever you do, Don’t. Follow. The. Frog.

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.

One Comment:

  • Vale: This sounds like an interesting movie that you need to watch more than once to catch all the details!

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