Even without first-time director Can Evrenol’s flair for gruesome visuals, Baskin would be an oddity. Few horror movies are being made in Turkey in general these days, and even fewer are independent productions like this one. And the film should succeed in getting Evrenol’s name out there among American horror fans perpetually searching for the newest and weirdest in international nightmare fuel. Beyond that, though, anyone deep enough into the genre to watch a movie like Baskin may find it, for all its bizarre and beautiful surrealistic imagery, oddly uninspiring.

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Chief among Evrenol’s obvious influences is Clive Barker, whose “pain is pleasure and pleasure is pain” ethos heavily informs the events of the film’s latter half. If Dimension ever decides to properly reboot its Hellraiser franchise (whatever’s going on with the newest installment doesn’t count), it would be wise to give him a call. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves: The film opens with a child being menaced by a disembodied undead arm after sneaking out of his room to eavesdrop on his mother having sex. Lit in bold Dario Argento-esque jewel tones and scored with propulsive John Carpenter-style synths—both techniques used throughout the film—the scene could have been pulled from any number of ’80s horror movies.

Seemingly incongruously, Baskin then cut to a scene of four cops relaxing and swapping dirty stories at a restaurant while out on patrol one night. (The connection will become evident later on.) Evrenol does have a talent for evoking the menace hanging around the edges of everyday life; under his lens, meat sizzling on a grill takes on an ominous quality, even before he shows the hooded figure with a bucket full of mysterious viscera that delivered it. That eerie mood starts to escalate shortly thereafter when one of the officers freaks out in the bathroom, shortly before the group hits the road en route to answering a distress call from another unit. On the way, their van crashes and ends up in a pond frequented by some itinerant frog hunters, who inform them that they have arrived at their destination, an abandoned police station nearby.

Then, rather like that iconic slam of the steel door in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, we leave the real world behind and enter the realm of insanity. After navigating a series of damp, pitch-black hallways where their flashlights pick up unsettling things like one of their fellow officers banging his bloody head against a wall, the cops are magically transported to a chamber that’s half church, half hell’s front lobby. There, they encounter a grotesque congregation of deformed creatures dressed like Riff Raff in a George Miller-directed production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, all burlap sacks and dirty bandages and long, straggly hair. They’re led by the diminutive “Father” (Mehmet Cerrahoglu), played by a, let’s say, genetically unconventional non-actor who the director discovered working in a parking garage.

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For the last 30 minutes of the film, Baskin drops what little plot it had entirely. Instead, it focuses on the grisly, sadistic tortures inflicted on each of the cops, which “Father” tells them will allow them to give up their power and become one with everything. It’s never clear what, besides being your garden-variety macho pricks—and they’re not even as bad as the ones in Hostel, to call out another influence—these human sacrifices have done to “deserve” their fates. They’re simply animals being led up the chute of a ghoulish slaughterhouse toward an orgy of infernal sadism.

Evrenol shoots all of this artfully, imbuing everything from a police van broken down by the side of a road to a man having his intestines slowly pulled out with a certain eerie beauty. But he’s also clearly enamored with how exquisite these shots are, and focuses on them at the expense of essential filmmaking elements like pacing and character development. And if you’re not sure why someone’s eye is being gouged out, whose eye it is, or wandered away to go fix yourself a snack before the eye-gouging even began, is it really all that scary?