Can Evrenol didn’t necessarily set out to become one of the most exciting horror movie directors working today but that all changed with the release of Baskin.
“I’ve always been interested in horror and gothic art and literature,” he told loaded.
“But when I made Baskin, I set out to make something that was more art film than horror. Something crazy and thunderous and apocalyptic.”
“What I ended up creating was a film that starts out as an ambiguous mystery before mutating into this crazy movie.”
The result is Baskin, an independently made horror movie about a group of Turkish policeman who answer a distress call with horrific and highly gruesome consequences.
With a rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is the latest example of European filmmakers doing what Hollywood often struggles to do: make a high-quality, visceral, frightening horror films capable of scaring you witless.
But Evrenol, who started out directing commercials before assembling a loyal crew to help him craft his low budget vision for Baskin, insists he is just one of several directors making foreign language horror of real substance.
Here, he gives loaded the lowdown on five foreign language horror movies that shaped his work and should not be missed.
High Tension (2003)
This French horror favourite tells the story of friends Marie and Alexia, who decide to spend a quiet weekend with the latter’s parents at a secluded farmhouse, only to find their plans shattered by a mysterious killer with a taste for blood. Lots of blood.
“Alexandre Aja is such a great director. He has gone on to do some great films in Hollywood like The Hills Have Eyes remake and this is where it all started,” Evrenol explains.
“When I made Baskin, I wanted to make a drama that had all these disgusting, horrible moments,” the Turkish director notes. “Martyrs is one of the great horror films of the last 15 years in that sense.”
Not for the faint of heart, the French effort from Pascal Laugier still ranks among the most extreme horror films of all time. Telling the story of one young women’s quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child, few things can prepare you for what unfolds.
France’s status as the home of Europe’s most extreme horror films continues with this story of a group of thieves who flee a Paris riot only to end up in the clutches of a group of neo-Nazis running the Inn from hell.
“This is another example of the kind of gritty, realistic horror movies that I love,” Evrenol notes. “They don’t have much of a sense of humour, they are relentless and they have been a huge influence on my work with Baskin.”
Ichi The Killer (2001)
The granddaddy of foreign language body horror, the titular Ichi is a psychotic killer intent on inflicting new levels of pain against a sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer searching for his missing boss. And if that sounds bonkers, that’s because it is.
“I wanted to include a Japanese film and while this is not strictly an out and out horror film, I think it’s super extreme and stays with you after you watch it,” the Baskin director said.
Let The Right One In (2008)
Slightly gory but no less frightening than the other films on the list, this Scandinavian effort tells the story of Oskar, a loner who finds friendship with an unusual girl called Eli, who has a dark secret.
“This is such a unique and atmospheric movie,” Evrenol notes. “For me it’s up there with the very best. Watch it.”
Baskin is out at select cinemas now and available on rent or buy on Amazon now.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.