A squad of cops are called to an isolated building, only to find that there is a group of nefarious occupants.
As I write this now, it’s halfway through the month of September, and I’ve been watching horror films like crazy for our 31 Nights of Thrills series. If you’re a frequent reader or follower of this site you know that I live with roommates, and they frequently have sway over what movies I watch and when; that’s not a bad thing- everybody finds something different when we as a household search for weird movies to watch, and this was one that my roommate Karl found. One thing that draws me to horror films is that even if the film turns out to be horrible, I can at least find a few moments that entertain me (sometimes ironically, sometimes unironically). Because of my ability to at least find some entertainment in horror films, I rarely take issue with watching horror films with middling reviews (like this one). Horror films are frequently polarizing, and it’s easy to see how a horror flick might appeal to one horror fan, but not another. Why am I prefacing this review this way? Well, the movie is pretty messed up; it features extended sequences of ritualistic torture and sex, and features images that are vile and disturbing. The movie wasn’t bad, per say, but it’s not one that I can fully recommend to anyone without reservations. So, before I really start this review, I’m letting you, the reader, know that this review is neither a recommendation nor a warning off from the film; what will follow are simply my thoughts on it.
“Are you ready to be one with the cosmos?”
A squad of policemen drink and tell stories at a bar until one of the members sees something that startles him. They receive a call from a mysterious source calling for backup, so the squad leaves the restaurant and heads to the location, only to have an accident along the way. When the police come to, they find that they are near the location where the call came from, so they head to the building; an isolated warehouse, only to find that there is evil lurking inside.
So, okay, this is a hard movie to talk about without going into the details of what really happens, so I’m just going to throw a SPOILERS on this paragraph- if you don’t want spoilers, skip this section. Still here? Cool. The policemen wander into a sort of hellish ritual where they are then used to complete this ritual. The things done to the policemen are grotesque and gory, and the imagery around the police throughout this time is hellish. This is a film that sort of reminded me of “Silent Hill”, with its creepy atmosphere and disturbing character designs (thought I’d say this is better than either of the “Silent Hill” movies). The thing that the ritual master, Baba (Mehmet Cerrahoglu, “Resurrection: Ertugrul”) is trying to accomplish isn’t unveiled until the final scene of the film, and that twist works wonderfully. I’d go so far as to say that the twist at the end of this film rose my rating a half point. The ritual itself takes up a good amount of the film; probably twenty minutes of the hour and a half runtime, and while I wouldn’t say the ritual in itself is scary; it is certainly off-putting and grotesque.
As far as story goes, this film is fine. It’s rather simple, and the scares don’t come from any reveals of the story, but from the images and character designs that appear near the ending. I think my biggest problems with the film were the characters, none of which were very distinguishable or remarkable. This is a foreign language film, and I’ll admit that if characters aren’t easily distinguishable by traits or given deep backstories, its sometimes hard for me to keep track of who is who. In this film, there are two police officers that are given real characteristics, and the others just feel like they were put there so the director could kill them at the end of the movie. The character writing, in that way, feels kind of lazy. I couldn’t tell who was who or why I should care more about one than the other; to me, they were all just policemen that would soon be dead. I had no real attachment to anyone in this film, and that was made worse by the way the characters were written and particularly the way they spoke. As this was a foreign language film, I may be missing something in translation, but the way these characters talked got to be very annoying. Our characters are policemen, and they go around calling each other “Bro”, “Dude”, and “Man” for a decent amount of the film. The policemen are supposed to be friends, so I have no problem with a few ‘dudes’ or even a couple ‘mans’ now and again, but to have them use that lingo with almost every line becomes ridiculously annoying, and honestly it feels like we’re watching a bunch of high school students make a movie.
I think the best part of the film was Mehmet Cerrahoglu, who played the head dark priest (or leader- whatever you want to call him). This was Mehmet’s first role, and he absolutely nailed it. More than any of our protagonists, he was a character that stood out and completely stole the screen whenever he was on it. Perhaps what’s most interesting about Mehmet is the way that he uses his appearance to his advantage. According to IMDb, Mehmet was born with a rare skin condition that caused the unique structure and look of his face, and the director Can Evenol, used that fully to his advantage, and to the benefit of the film.
I already mentioned above that I’m withholding my recommendation on this film. It’s a movie that revels in the darkness it creates, and there are scenes that work well, and other scenes that are, truthfully, a bit boring. For me this was a very middling film; there were aspects that made me not regret the time I spent watching it, but the content is a bit evil and the ending was not as rewarding as I’d like. Watch this movie if you want; don’t watch it and you wont be missing much.
This is part of our 31 Nights of Thrills Series. Not all of the movies we review for this series will be strictly horror, but all will have something to do with the spirit of things spooky or scary. If you like those types of movies, be sure to check back throughout the month of October!
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