In 2013, a short film by Can Evrenol’s raised some eyebrows on won some awards at festivals around the world. Baskin is Evrenol’s feature film debut of the same name, and has the distinction of being the first Turkish film to play Midnight Madness at TIFF in the programme’s 28 year history.
The story begins with five cops are on their way home after a night of drinking and camaraderie who receive a call from dispatch asking for help in investigating a squad that has gone missing. They arrive at a seemingly empty building, but their problems begin when they walk in on a dark ceremony and realize they’re the guests of honour.
Baskin has a ferocious final thirty-five minutes but it takes getting through a less effectively paced first forty-five minutes to get there. Once we finally get to the abandoned building though, Evernol bombards us with some hellishly impressive imagery. The performances are decent from the five officers, even though the script leaves them with little to deliver at times, but the most impressive, creepiest performance comes from the leader of the cult performing the ceremony. The effects work is also extremely well done, one sequence involving a stomach is a standout.
Far from a great film, Baskin has issues with shifts in tone, scripting and pacing, but it’s also far from a failure. With a undeniable eye for camera technique and a visual flare all his own, Evrenol may yet deliver something special with his next project, whatever that may be.
THU SEP 17 6:00 PM @ Scotiabank Theatre Scotiabank 4