Film #1: Baskin

Year
2015

Starring
Mehmet Cerrahoğlu, Ergun Kuyucu

Directed by
Can Evrenol

Tagline
Enter a world of madness and suffering.

Synopsis

Five cops respond to a call at an abandoned police station, stumbling upon a Black Mass and a world of nightmares.

Film #2: Let Us Prey

Year
2014

Starring
Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Bryan Larkin

Directed by
Brian O’Malley

Tagline
Darkness shall rise.

Synopsis

A mysterious man arrives in a small Scottish town and torments the occupants of the local police station.

The Double Feature

For tonight’s double feature, we journey into the international horror scene with the Turkish film, Baskin, and the British/Irish film, Let Us Prey. The two make a wonderful pairing, being similar enough in tone while packing enough chills to stand on their own. Both films follow a dream-like logic, lending an air of surrealism and mystery to their respective plots. This ethereal quality is a stylistic choice that spits in the face of conventional storytelling norms and wisdom. The result sacrifices narrative in lieu of a unique, almost transcendental journey into madness. Fans of horror master, Dario Argento, will feel right at home here.

Storytelling in these films are anything, but linear. I often found myself wondering “What the fuck is going on?” This may sound like a knock on the films and I guess that it is, in part. It really depends on the experience you are looking for. While complete, cohesive plots are not their strong suits, I found the change refreshing. Through uncertainty lies fear and these films make use of that truth to drive the scares. It’s the sort of thing that will frustrate viewers desiring to see all the pieces of the puzzle while keeping others second guessing reality and coming back for more.

Both are visually and audibly striking films. This is made apparent within the very first frames of both movies. The color palettes are gorgeous. Both directors make a great use of color for subtle storytelling. Lighting is bold without becoming garish. The soundtracks are equally delightful, reminiscent of an 80’s John Carpenter theme mixed with Sinister’s eerie score. There are obvious inspirations from 80’s horror cinema and that is most definitely a good thing in my book.

Fair warning, subtitles may be needed for either feature. I know this is an issue for some people who hate to “read” a movie. I thought it best to make a note of it as Baskin is in Turkish and some people will have trouble understanding the Scottish accents in Let Us Prey. Both movies are available on Itunes, Amazon, and Netflix at the time of writing so pick your poison, horror freaks.

How do you guys feel about subtitles on your movies and international films? Have you seen either of these movies? Let me know in the comments below.