Fantastic Fest, 2015
Can Evrenol’s “Baskin” was billed at Fantastic Fest as a new vision of hell from an exciting young filmmaker, just the kind of thing you go to festivals to discover. I mostly just discovered how tired I was at the end of that day. But even if “Baskin” was movie #1 at 8:30 A.M. instead of movie #5 at 11:15 P.M., little would change.
The film is somewhat like “Drag Me To Hell,” except maybe more aptly titled “Put Me To Sleep.” For all the talk around the film’s originality, Evrenol’s hell sure felt a whole lot like a standard-issue haunted house. After five Turkish cops plunge into the afterlife following a car accident, they get treated to a compendium of gross-outs in a confined edifice.
“Baskin” does not rely on the classic jump-out scares, at least, but the only thing Evrenol offers in place of it is shock value. And that isn’t much better. One of the minor pleasures of the film is Evrenol’s commitment to his unapologetically whacked-out envisioning of the devil’s domain. But the absence of taste does not always guarantee the presence of art. C /