Mark my words, Can Evrenol is a name we’re going to be seeing a lot of in the future of the genre—the dude has one of the most insane visions to come out of the world of horror in quite some time. His feature film debut, Baskin, is absolutely insane, offering some of the most haunting and unforgettably terrifying imagery of any film this year. In it, a squad of unsuspecting cops goes through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building.
The first half of the film is very much focused on easing its viewers into what can only be described as a clownshit crazy finale, one that quite literally drags its characters through hell kicking and screaming. There is no light at the end of this tunnel—the entire film is dark and wrapped up in an atmosphere of dread after a handful of cops get a call for backup that takes them to an abandoned police station in the middle of nowhere. This is where the film comes to life and sinks its claws in, just in time for Evrenol to show the genre what he’s made of.
The problem, however, is that Baskin is an unfortunate example of all style with no substance—it’s made up of some of the most brilliantly insane imagery of any movie this year, yet there’s not an ounce of character building and the plot itself gets lost in a sea of viscera. Outside of its nightmarish visuals, Baskin has almost nothing else to offer, which is a damn shame because the second half of the film is legitimately terrifying. Evrenol obviously spent a great deal of time creating this world of madness, filled with humanlike monsters that live on flesh and blood and thrive on screams of agony—but no matter how terrifying that all is (and it really is), Baskin ultimately feels empty and misguided because there’s really no plot to speak of and its own characters don’t even matter.
It just frustrated the hell out of me because there really was something special here—there are some scenes in this movie that are just downright horrifying with a villain that could have rivaled Pinhead, yet we get a big bloody mess instead. I’m still going to give Baskin a positive score, though, because it’s absolutely worth watching for Evrenol’s depiction of hell alone. It’s a nasty and mean little film with no hope to speak of and a monster of a villain that was practically made to crawl into your nightmares. That’s gotta count for something, right?