by Kevin Carr
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|| MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)
Tom Cavanagh as GEORGE GRIEVES
Kathleen York as JENNY
Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as MANDINGO
Katherine Cunningham-Eves as ZOE
Paget Brewster as ANDREA
David Clayton Rogers as BILLY
Dan Gerrity as THE BALD MAN
George Newbern as FRANK
Studio: Raw Feed
Directed by: Tony Krantz
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As a life-long fan of horror movies, I can appreciate a good effort, and that’s exactly what comes out of “Sublime,” the new thriller from Raw Feed studio.
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As far as low-budget horror movies, it was a very well crafted film. The physical and technical elements of filmmaking are very impressive for the movie’s scope. It has a fine, creepy look with convincing set design and make-up.
The film tells the story of George Grieves (Tom Cavanagh), a man who has just turned 40 and is preparing to go to the hospital for his first scheduled colonoscopy. There are hints that his marriage has been rocky and his friends have not always been loyal. He’s hitting his mid-life crisis right on time.
After an awkward admission and surgical prep, he wakes up to find himself on a mysterious floor of the hospital, with few nurses, no power and signs that something nefarious is going on. He soon finds out that he’s been given an accidental unnecessary surgery, which has developed complications. His only friend in the hospital is his nurse Zoe, a beautiful young girl ho hopes to help him. However, as he soon uncovers the truth, it’s more terrifying than he ever imagined.
The biggest flaw of “Sublime” is the amateurish vision from the director. I won’t reveal anything of the surprise ending, but I will say it isn’t much of a surprise. In fact, it’s one of the biggest cliche’s in movies and an even bigger cliche in horror and genre fiction. What makes this worse is that it was awfully predictable and not much of a surprise.
In his commentary, the director seems almost giddy at this supposedly surprise twist, and he just doesn’t give his audience enough credit to figure it out for themselves. The other problem director Tony Krantz has is that he has spent more time trying to make some convoluted message about George W. Bush and the Iraq situation than he has crafting his film.
I don’t mind a bit of political contemplation in movies, but when a standard horror film becomes a pulpit for a message, I find that just silly. Krantz just doesn’t seem to have his head in the right place, and I would suggest watching the movie without watching the commentary if you just want to enjoy a thriller.
Still, with Krantz’s misplaced political advocacy, “Sublime” comes across as an impressive feature. Normally, a direct-to-DVD horror movie is made for the splatter audience or its low-budget restrictions are far too obvious. However, “Sublime” manages to rise above the rest.
The film takes itself seriously but not so seriously that it becomes a joke. The performances are actually really stellar for what you might expect. Cavanagh carries the movie well and Katherine Cunningham-Eves is utterly compelling as the seductress nurse Zoe.
The DVD comes with a crew commentary plus additional interviews and an extended scene. “Sublime” is definitely a film to check out for a different pace of direct-to-DVD horror. And if Krantz and company can keep their self-important politics in check, they might go on to make some really spectacular films.
Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Widescreen (1.85:1). French subtitles. English language subtitles for the hearing impaired.