Movie Review: BASKIN (2015)

Last year I stumbled across a trailer for a movie called “Baskin.”  The movie trailer played like a warped nightmare straight from the mind of Clive Barker and teased terrifying imagery and characters.  I was immediately intrigued and couldn’t wait until this little foreign horror film was released in the states.  This movie had me excited.  Months went on, and my mind shifted it’s attention to other horror titles/releases; I had forgotten about BASKIN.  To my surprise, out of the blue I get offered the chance to watch and review the film courtesy of IFC films – I was stoked!  It was like forgetting you lost your favorite action figure, only to find it again!  My excitement level, once again, ramped up.

With a Mountain Dew in hand, I started watching this film that I ultimately knew nothing about, other than it had really crazy imagery in it’s trailer.

The film opened with a little kid waking up to the sound of his mother having sex in the next room.  Ok, now that’s what you call an attention getter!  A creepy apparition of sorts appears extending it’s hand towards the child.  We learn that this first scene is only a nightmare sequence.  Cut to a bunch of police officers eating and drinking together at a run down restaurant.  The officers get a call that they are needed on site of an old building.  One of the officers is telling a sex story about accidentally sleeping with a dude, while one of the other offices runs to the bathroom puking, all while cutting back to a shot of pieces of meat frying on the grill.  I immediately started questioning… what the hell am I watching?  What the hell is this movie about?

The officers travel to the distress call they received, but not without running someone over and crashing their vehicle first.  The characters travel on foot to a creepy building.  When entering the building it’s easy to identify, the building may as well be a direct representation of hell.  Weird demons wearing bondage outfits (reminiscent to Clive Barker’s 90′s toy line “Clive Barker’s Tortured Souls”) show up and immediately start wreaking havoc on anyone who stands in front of them.

46 minutes into this movie, I still had no clear idea on the plot of the film.  The movie kept flashing from current time in the building, to being back in the restaurant.  It was very confusing.  The imagery of this hellish building, as well as these demons that were tearing their victims apart, was enough to keep my interest though.  There is no lack of gross out gore in this one, so gorehounds should appreciate that.

56 minutes into this movie, I realized at how defined the atmosphere and dread was in BASKIN.  All of the characters are filled with hopelessness and doom.  Yet, what the hell is this movie about?

The movie ends on a crescendo of forced demon sex, eyeball gouging, and quite possibly the scariest little person ever captured on film.  BASKIN is very much visually disturbing.  This movie felt very influenced by the work of Clive Barker.  I think it’s pretty much impossible to watch this movie and not compare it to Clive Barker’s work.  In the finale, it would have totally worked if Pinhead stepped out from the shadows and joined the demented demon leader “The Father” in his twisted torturing of the lead characters.

After viewing this movie in its entirety, BASKIN plot is left in the minds of it’s viewers for interpretation.  If someone walked up to me right now, and put a gun to my head and said, “Tell me what BASKIN is about, or I’ll blow your head off”, I’m pretty sure they’d have to blow my head off.  BASKIN suffers from not being told in a linear fashion.  The story bounces around to too many places all at once.  As a viewer you start formulating questions on the story, and characters, which very few of those questions get answered by the time the credits enter the screen.

I wanted to love this movie, instead I kind of shrugged after its conclusion and said to myself “That was decent”.  The direction, score, acting, and imagery are all fantastic.  The movie as a whole falls flat due to it’s plot never fully being unfolded for the viewer.  I would still urge horror fans and gorehounds to watch this oddity of a film, just don’t expect for it to be your new favorite film.

Jeremy Morehead
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