“Baskin” generated quite some buzz after it was shown at the TIFF recently. However, I have to say that I don’t really get it. Ok, I admit, it was day 9, and I was starting to get rather fatigued. However, I was wide awake during “The Final Girls”, which was shown afterwards, so I don’t think you can blame my overall weariness for having to fight to stay awake during “Baskin”. Feel free to blame my (bad) taste in films, if you wish. I, however, blame the movie.
Now, I give them that: “Baskin” is visually stunning. There are quite a few beautiful shots, and I especially liked the colorful lightning. The music was quite good, the first scene is incredibly tense and scary, it has a nice, nightmarish feel to it, and there are a couple of nice scenes scattered throughout. Nevertheless, “Baskin” would have almost put me to sleep. It never really managed to grip me, and the overall flow of the story was far too slow to hold my interest beyond my initial curiosity. The individual scenes go on far too long, and there are also a couple of slow motion-scenes thrown in for good (or in this case, rather, bad) measure. Overall, I had no idea where this was going, and also felt that it moved at the speed of the continental shift. I also didn’t get the sense behind some of the scenes and/or conversations. I didn’t really care about any of the characters. And even when they finally reach “hell”, the movie didn’t have much to offer for me. There’s some splatter and gore and crazy shit, but it didn’t really fit with the rest of the movie. Also, in my opinion, it was neither scary, nor shocking… nor anything, really. Add to that a nonsensical final twist that didn’t surprise me all that much, and whose meaning escaped me, and you got another disappointment of this years /slash Filmfestival. However, I freely admit that with atmospheric movies like that, it all comes down to the question if it manages to draw you in, or not. Far too often I’ve been on the side of those who were smitten by a movie, only to hear from others that they found it sleep-inducing (“Lost River” comes to mind). In this case, however, I’m afraid I have to side with the nays.