scary can a middle aged woman with long knitting needles truly be? So maybe she
is not a classic cinema bogeyman, but you would totally want to avoid her in
real life. In this case, she happens to be Turkish, making her even scarier to
Greeks. She refuses to leave the house she considers her home, despite having
no legal rights. Like most squatters, she will do what it takes to get her way
in Lutfu Emre Cicek’s Naciye (trailer here), which screens
during the 2015 Screamfest Horror Film Festival in Hollywood.
hugely pregnant Bengi is a little surprised her husband Bertan decided to rent
a stately old home off the Marmara Coast without telling her. Frankly, this
does not seem like a good time for her to travel, but they make the trip to the
Princess Islands anyway. Arriving late, they are rather put out to find their
key is not where the rental agent promised. Of course, we know that is because
Naciye already killed him good and dead.
Bengi is going out of her way to scold Bertan, but the house really looks
suspiciously lived in. In fact, Bengi is convinced someone is inside. Before
long, the cat-and-mouse commences, escalating lethally.
be honest, Naciye is a lot like
dozens of movies, but the Turkish setting somehow adds something. In Istanbul
or any modern city, Naciye could never expect to hunker down indefinitely without
expecting a constant stream of people asking after her victims and generally looking
to clear her out of a prime piece of real estate. However, the provincial
islands are a different story.
house itself is also a triumph of location scouting and art design. Indeed, it
looks grand during the day, but darkly ominous at night. It is also decked out
with appropriately creepy bric-a-brac, like doilies and potpourri from Hell.
Cinematographer Kamil Satir gives it all a suggestively sinister sheen. Unfortunately,
Cicek badly mishandles the flashbacks, at the expense of narrative clarity and atmospheric
cohesion. In one particularly egregious case, he jarringly introduces the late
former tenants to no appreciable purpose (except maybe to pad out a
comparatively short feature).
Still, Derya Alabora is impressively fierce and
deranged as the title character. As Bengi, Esin Harvey seems genuinely
exasperated with Gorkem Mertsoz’s clueless Bertan. If you do not object to
scenes of a pregnant woman in jeopardy than Naciye
is not bad for a squatter horror film, but its nothing you haven’t seen
before. Yet, it is probably a good idea to encourage manifestations of Turkish
modernity, exactly like horror movies with sex scenes, so it is maybe worth
taking the time to catch Naciye when
it screens this Thursday (10/15) at the TCL Chinese 6, as part of this year’s
Labels: Horror Movies, Screamfest LA '15, Turkish Cinema