Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here. Happy Birthday to AICN HORROR which celebrates its sixth year in October! Always hoping to pass on new and exciting films for all of you ravenous readers, I have once again compiled a list counting down to my favorite horror film released since last October and covered in this here AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. Some of these films might be new to you since there isn’t a lot of horror in theaters these days. That said, there were more on this list that DID have a theatrical run than in previous years which means the horror genre does seem to be on the upswing. Some of these films have only seen the light of day on Video On Demand or simply go straight to DVD/BluRay or digital download.
As far as how I compiled this list? Well, I simply looked over my AICN HORROR columns over the last year since October 1st, 2015 (which happens to be the birthday of this little column five years ago!) and worked and reworked the list until I had 31. No real method to my special brand of madness. We’ll be counting down every day until Halloween to my favorite horror film of the year. I’ll also provide a second film suggestion at the end of each post that is worth nothing or missed being on the list by a little bit for those who can’t get enough horror.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let me know how you liked the film I chose, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own list…let’s go!
BASKIN (2015)Directed by Can Evrenol
Written by Ogulcan Eren Akay, Can Evrenol, Cem Ozuduru, Ercin Sadikoglu
Starring Muharrem Bayrak, Mehmet Akif Budak, Fadik Bülbül, Mehmet Cerrahoglu, Elif Dag, Mehmet Fatih Dokgoz, Mümin Kaar, Gorkem Kasal, Sevinc Kaya, Serhat Mustafa Kiliç, Ergun Kuyucu, Fulya Peker, Sevket Suha Tezel, Sabahattin Yakut, Seyithan Özdemir
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
Some fantastic editing, simple effects, and an overall hell-bent tone make BASKIN one of the more memorable horrors of the year. This is a film that gets a lot of bang for its buck, mainly because of a few well-paced scenes of throat-clenching terror and modest yet effective effects.
BASKIN’s plot is as labyrinthine as the dark maze the five police officers find themselves lost in as they receive a distress call to the middle of nowhere that ends up being the ends of this world and any sanity associated with it.
In tone, this film resembles most JACOB’S LADDER. It’s got a twisty-turny kind of plot that flows in and out of dreams and really plays with the concept of what is real and what is all inside one unwell mind. In the end, it doesn’t really matter because as a viewer, I was taken on such a swirling descent that I appreciated all of the perverse sounds and disquieting sights I was inundated with too much to give a crap whether I knew all of the answers to this puzzle.
Swiping elements of Clive Barker’s worst nightmares and lathering them with blood, mud, and froggy slime, once in the cops’ hellish nightmare you’re going to be amazed at what is happening. The real treat here is that none of it is explained or really seen in a clear manner. There’s a sexual aspect to it all, but with all of the screaming and gore, it’s hard to find anything titillating about it all. What amazes me is that much of what we are seeing is not anything more than an elaborate and gory room one might see in an upscale haunted house, but it’s Can Evrenol’s gifted editing and camera work that highlights just enough to cause all sorts of unease that makes it all seem like something we’ve never seen and never really want to. Using dark lighting, filming around corners, and using quick cuts, what your mind’s eye puts together from all of these pieces is more terrifying than any well lit set piece could provide.
BASKIN is also a really well-acted film with a talented cast of Turkish actors, especially Gorkem Kasal, who gets a masterfully paced retelling of the bizarre dream imagery we witness before the opening credits. The other actors play mostly grizzled cop roles, but do them in a no-nonsense and gritty sort of way that makes one believe they have seen and done things that are deserving of this hellish descent.
Moving at a brisk pace, BASKIN doesn’t wait long to toss the viewer into the abyss. Filled with all kinds of unsettling gore paired with disturbing actions one can only barely understand, BASKIN is less of a narrative to be understood and more of an experiential trip through the most perverse and gruesome corners of hell. Abandon all hope ye who enter BASKIN!
#29 – BASKIN
#30 – I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER
#31 – SOUTHBOUND
2015 #1 – THE CANAL
2014 #1 – PROXY
2013 #1 - MANIAC
2012 #1 – THE WOMAN
2011 #1 – THE LAST CIRCUS
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over 15 years & AICN HORROR for 5. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller and on his new website collecting posts for AICN HORROR as well as all of the most recent updates on his various comic book projects on MLMillerWrites.com.
Look for Johnny Destructo, Stephen Andrade, Christian DiBari, and my own ramblings about random horror films on CultPop/PoptardsGo and Ain’t It Cool on AICN HORROR’s CANNIBAL HORRORCAST Podcast every other Thursday (or so…)!