[31 Days of Halloween 2016: BASKIN is now available on home video, VOD, and streaming on Netflix.]
Review by Bob Ignizio
A quintet of police officers drive off the road and straight into hell in BASKIN, a surreal Turkish horror film that marries the subtle, dreamlike horrors of CARNIVAL OF SOULS with modern gore and sadism.
The plot is set in motion when the officers get a distress call from the town of Inceagac. The place has an unsavory reputation for dark and mysterious behavior, which proves to be more than just superstition. Upon arriving after crashing their vehicle, the cops find themselves assailed by the locals both physically and psychologically. And under such duress, it doesn't take long for the victims to reveal they're not exactly good guys themselves.
Director/co-writer Can Evrenol lays the style on thick. The use of vivid primary colors recalls Italian horror maestros like Bava and Argento, while the way it lingers on scenes of graphic carnage recalls the less reputable works of fellow pasta land purveyors of fright like Fulci and D'Amato.
No doubt there's some sort of social commentary on Turkish society that went over my head, but the depiction of the brutish side of law enforcement comes through clearly enough. Really, though, BASKIN functions first and foremost as a gross-out mind fuck, and on that level it more than delivers. By the time its twisty plot comes full circle, it has gleefully crossed all sorts of lines, so if you're not a fairly hardened horror fan, you may want to pass. If you can stomach it, though, this is one of the best films in the genre this year. 3 ½ out of 4 stars.