Shout Factory has finally released director Can Evrenol’s film, Baskin, on a Blu-ray combo collector’s edition.
The Turkish horror film, Baskin, is shrouded in dream logic from the very opening scenes, in which a young boy named Arda experiences a terrifying nightmare. When we skip forward years later, Arda is a grown man, and one of five cops who gets called in to investigate some strange activity at a mysterious dilapidated building, in an area known as Inceagac. Several of the men have heard of this place and the strange goings on that occur there ever since they were kids, and so they answer the distress call to much trepidation.
On the way there, they accidentally run someone down in their van, causing them to wreck in a nearby pond. However, when they get out and search the area, no traces of a body can be found. Shortly after, they arrive at the ominous building – supposedly a former police station – and begin to look around after a brief encounter with some spooky locals.
As they continue to explore the area, they come upon a demonic cult that is in the middle of a ritual, and they ultimately end up in what can only be described as hell on earth – with a twisted, knife-wielding leader as their guide into madness.
Arda is our central character, and our experience of the film is heightened by the details surrounding his dream life. Dreams and waking life collide in uncanny ways that contribute to a feeling of deja vu that is key to unlocking the film, if such a thing is possible. It isn’t just Arda who is locked in this perpetual dream state, but several of the men that we will meet over the course of the film. Their nightmares hold sway over them, rarely letting them up for air, in a place where no safe spaces can be found.
Baskin is what you would get if Nicolas Winding Refn, David Lynch, and Rob Zombie had a love child. Can Evrenol’s grasp of mood and atmosphere is flawless, and the synth score provides the necessary retro feel of the film. While the third act is a tad wonky in some respects – it gives off a bit of an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom vibe that doesn’t quite jive with the rest of the film – all of the right pieces eventually fall into place, making for a satisfying experience that is a must-see for film buffs.
Shout Factory’s Blu-ray/DVD combo package is amazing, and comes with a making-of featurette, the original short film that inspired Baskin, and the theatrical trailer.