Another new Turkish horror film, almost missed by me in the rush of new stuff out this year although I’ve had my eyes peeled for it. I knew that it had finally arrived out on DVD, but had been led to believe that no subtitles for it had been included on the disc…. (Boooo…Hissss!!!)
But…., apparently, although the Region 2 PAL release makes no mention of them on the packaging, they are indeed there, and so naturally this goofy lil’ Catgirl wasted no time in snatching herself up a copy once I’d been assured of this through intensive Internet research.
The synopsis goes like this: “Suat (Burak Özcivit) and Nurcan (Bigkem Karavus) are two young people born and grown up in the same village and they passionately love each other. They decide to get married. But, when they take this decision, they find themselves “haunted” by a great trouble. A creature from other world causes unfathomable events around them and affects the entire life of this couple. Now, neither their life nor love is as before. The dark incidents affecting them and their environment develop in an inexplicable manner.”
Hmmmm… Well it sounds like Neko’s kinda film, but there’s only one way to find out if my guess is right. Yep… it’s time to “Read On”….. Betcha saw that one coming.
So this one is a bit tricky. It seems to be, at first glance, a straightforward demonic possession flick judging from the Trailer, but, noooooo!! It is so much more than that. It’s actually two movies in one…. yep, sorta like watching two different horror films at the same time. I’ll explain more in a bit, but let’s take a look at our hero first.
Suat is a nice guy. He’s brooding and swarthy and handsome in that dark and Turkish way, and boy, oh boy, is he one unhappy guy. When we first see him he’s dead. Yep. Right at the beginning of the film…. as dead as a doornail and being hauled about in a truck by his best friend and some old guy who plan to bury him in his native village. Before something bad happens.
Ummm? Huh? Bad? Like worse than, say, already being dead?!? Neko is soooo confused….
So it’s flashback time to 9 months earlier, and we find brooding and angst ridden Suat as a factory worker in Germany, earning money to bring his new wife and mother to live with him here in the EU. He’s alone…. well almost, he’s got one friend from the old village who’s also here in Germany working with him at the factory. They hang out…. drink beers…. and do all the things best buddies do. But it’s just not enough. Suat feels something is wrong. And there is.
He’s being haunted…. at first I was thinking it was by the spirit of Nurcan, his pretty new wife…… you just know something traumatic happened to her and that’s why Suat has escaped to Germany right? Nope….. Wrong idea. Especially since all he keeps doing is trying to either phone home to his mother or buy tickets back to Turkey to get there any way he can. Somehow an invisible thing keeps screwing with him, thwarting his efforts and driving him slowly but surely completely crazy. The thing seems able to masquerade as Nurcan, his friend, even a doppelganger of himself in it’s cruel scheme to trick him into staying put in Germany. Finally he can’t stand it anymore… he physically collapses and after 9 months of Hell convinces his friend to take him back to Turkey. Once there, they seek the help of a Wise man and mystic to figure out what’s going on.
This is where most of the creepy stuff starts…. Including a truly bizarre occult ceremony where the Wise man’s grandson gets to stand in a tin basin full of water wearing nothing but his underwear to have visions of the past. Very, very weird…. and not really all that useful. The Wise man starts trying to puzzle out the meaning of stuff, giving Suat a mystic charm to shield him while he tries to figure stuff out. That just ticks off the Spirit/ Demon/ Whatever so that it kills poor Suat and we’re back to the beginning of the film and our midnight burial.
Then we jump back 9 months again…. for part 2 of this “Two films in one” story. Suat is at his marriage with Nurcan and they head off for the honeymoon bed. But wait…. Nurcan is sickly… always has been, but worse, she’s a very reluctant virgin. Poor, poor Suat…. no “consummating” for him. Still… he a decent guy, willing to wait a month till Nurcan gets comfy with the idea of…er… well… Pssst!! You know. They actually make love without causing her to have a seizure… a major plus. But all is not well……
Seems Nurcan doesn’t have a good pregnancy. It’s hard and painful, and she becomes moody and at odds with Suat’s mother. Worse… Suat is acting strange… disappearing at odd times with no explanation of why or where. There are strange phone calls…. and by now, most of you are probably saying, “Huh? What the heck? Ummm? But Neko-chan? Isn’t Suat off in Germany about this time?”
Here’s where Neko has to give you her “Spoiler Alert“…. because I can’t realy go much further without giving away the whole enchilada. Consider yourself warned!!
The answer is yes…. yes he is. Seems the “Suat” here isn’t the real one. This one is some extra dimensional otherworldly shape shifting demon thing that has been watching Nurcan since she was a girl, and who has always had the uber possessive hots for her. When Suat goes to Germany, it shows up, pretending to be him and simultaneously keeps the real Suat from coming back home. Just so it can have Nurcan all to itself. Got it? Unfortunately, when poor Nurcan dies trying to give birth to the demon spawn son of this thing, all that goes to heck in a hand basket.
About this time, it kills the real Suat out of pure rage, and then whacks the Wise Man’s son and his wife for having messed around with him and his plans. We get the whole back story, complete with comparisons to explain the crossovers between the two tales, but by now everything’s all out in the open. All that’s left is a stern voice over warning from our Wise man about how “love between two worlds” is sooo sooo wrong. There’s an ominous bit about being prepared in future, but we never actually find out why poor Suat needed to be buried back home. Worse… the demon just seems to disappear at the end of the story. Never a good thing. Guess we’ll have to wait until “Musallat 2”….
This one is very well filmed… and it has some extremely suspenseful moments, but I have to say it left poor Neko just a wee bit confused. Consequently I, personally, can only give “Musallat” 3 “Meows” out of 5 for making a nice, if somewhat confusing attempt to scare me. The acting is good…. the cinematography is topnotch, the subtitles were well done. Even the DVD itself was well produced, but still, I felt that it could have been better. Of the two Turkish films I saw this week, I have to say I enjoyed “Semum” a bit more, thanks to it’s easier to understand plot. Maybe I just need to watch a few more of these until my “Turkish Cultural Filter” kicks in….. But, maybe Gentle Visitor, it’s more your cup of tea…. it certainly is indeed worth a look if the disc comes your way.
And, yes, there’s a Trailer….. as if I wouldn’t include a Trailer for ya! Hehehehe….