There have been very few movies throughout the course of my movie watching career that were able to truly chill me to the bone. The Turkish-language horror flick Baskin, which is now available to stream on Netflix, was one of them.
Depicting Hell is a tricky affair – but when it’s done right, it can be downright torturous to watch. Baskin follows a group of police officers responding to a call for backup. Once they arrive at the mysterious building in which they were hailed to, they find that the inside is more or less a gateway to Hell itself.
Making excellent use of color and mood, the film does its best to try and disgust the audience as much as possible through obscenity and horrific imagery. Spoiler alert: it works. This unique depiction of a literal Hell on earth is not the lazily-concocted brimstone and fire that many would expect; it’s something much more surreal. Watching Baskin is likened to experiencing an intense fever dream that does not let up.
There’s a plot somewhere in this film, too, but it’s somewhat hard to find. While some may criticize the movie for lacking in story and relying mainly on style over substance, I found that the confusion with the overall storyline made for an even more otherworldly experience. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but the vague plot and lack of explanations for everything made me feel even more unsettled after the movie ended. There is a meaning behind this movie – I think – but it may take more than one watch to figure it out.
And while it is incredibly scary, it could have been taken even further. The last ten minutes of the movie seem to be hastily put together and a bit uninspired; still, this does not take away from the Hellish experience that the rest of the movie puts you through. I have no doubt that the reaction to this film, now that it’s available on such an attainable format and viewed by many curious horror fans, will be heavily divided. It’s been highly anticipated, and there will be many who think that the violence, heavy and disturbing as it is, could have been taken further. But as a fan of films such as Suspiria and Hellraiser, I was pleasantly surprised to see a mixture of the two of them in one grisly, rotten film. No, Baskin is not nice. It does not play fair and it will use cheap tricks to get a rise out of people. Still, I greatly enjoyed this film – I even considered sleeping with some lights on after the fact.
Is Baskin my new favorite movie? Not quite. Regardless of how terrifying I found it to be, the loose story and confusing plot points must be addressed and taken into consideration. Still, for anyone looking to scare themselves silly, this movie is a perfectly good choice.