Straight Outta Hell
by Brody Rossiter
Sometimes horror movies can feel like a battle of attrition for the viewer. This can be due to a distinct lack of scares and long passages of dull exposition, or adversely, an overwhelming amount of graphic content that batters the sense like a relentless maniac wielding a big bloody hammer. It’s safe to say that Turkish splatterfest, Baskin, falls into the latter category. In other words: It’s really fucked up.
After a unsettling stop at roadside restaurant, a group of cops are called to a nearby crime scene. From this point on, the already frayed thread of a narrative is quickly severed and our largely unlikeable protagonists are plunged into a chaotically grim and nightmarish labyrinth of unspeakable terrors.
The sheer level of sadism on display is reminiscent of Clive Barker’s seminal Hellraiser. There’s an unnerving impression of opulence writhing amongst the crippled bodies and severed limbs; an apocalyptic visage constructed by director Can Evrenol. The surreal yet grisly violence is the film’s primary tool of drawing out a reaction from its viewer. However, the slick visual style assures it steers clear of the instant yet boorish gratification of the torture porn sub-genre.
It’s difficult to ascertain whether Baskin is actually a good movie. It’s hellish vision becomes so outlandish than ultimately it’s worth truly lies in the eye of the beholder. It requires you to submit wholeheartedly to its grinding, it’s churning of skin and bone, its devilish glee in the face sheer unadulterated despair. If you’re not down with that, you’ll be left squirming uncomfortably for an hour and thirty minutes. However, if you willingly throw yourself blindly into its pit of depravity, the hallucinatory trip back to the surface will offer a thrilling yet disquieting ride.