Family man George Grieves (Tom Cavanagh of TV's Ed and Love Monkey) checks into Mt. Abadon Hospital for a routine procedure. When he awakens from his anesthesia, something is terribly wrong...with George...with the hospita... more »l...and especially with the shuttered East Ward, an eerie lair of secrets, sex and surgical terrors. Raw Feed presents the fear-drenched psychological thriller Sublime, directed by Tony Krantz (executive producer of 24) from a screenplay by Emmy Award winner Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers). In the tradition of cinema's classic tales of suspense, Sublime will keep you guessing as its puzzle pieces fall into place, and leave you stunned by its astounding conclusion. Graphic, bold, sexual and utterly horrifying, Sublime explores what happens when what you fear becomes real.« less
"Due to the the intensity of the reaction to this film by fans of the horror genre (who are so disturbed as to spoil the story in their reviews) I thought I'd throw this in, for what it's worth:
SUBLIME was an experiment on nearly every level. Raw Feed is a Warner Bros. experiment to make "horror" films within the BROADEST definition of the genre. Films designed to be released directly to DVD.
John Shiban, Tony Krantz and Daniel Myrick would each make a film in 15 days for a budget of roughly 1.5 million dollars. Any one of them essentially could do whatever they wanted to do - to play into the genre, to satirize it, to bend it. Mr. Krantz's notion was to take the present atmosphere of fear and doubt that has pervaded our world; the very real statistics about "health care"; and the horror of the Terry Schiavo case, and make a movie.
My involvement in the film came out of my close friendship with Tony. Inspired by an Ambrose Bierce short story "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge"...the mystery of coma consciousness...the idea that when you close your eyes, your visual experience is limited to what you can remember...we crafted the script.
Trying to capture our version of a fear-and-incident-inspired "coma consciousness" led to the film's intentionally languorous and lurid pace. It was a specific choice. Right or wrong, we were determined to stay true to George's vision: George is stuck in a 10-month-plus Persistent Vegetative State within which all of the things that he worries about manifest. His only respite is when he closes his eyes and remembers his "last supper"; and many of his coma-realities are inspired by incidental details experienced that night:
Is Jenny actually unhappy in spite of what he wants to believe by "looking into her eyes"? Is she going to leave him? Will his colonoscopy go wrong? Is his daughter experimenting with her sexual identity? Why is his son so fascinated by fear and evil? Is his partner going to stab him in the back? And what about the Unknown - the utterly unaddressed racism, abuse of minorities, and fundamentalist Islamic-terror that we've all been taught to fear? George is a version of a successful Everyman who worries about a lot without choosing to examine much.
He thinks it's enough to look in someone's eyes to know their truth. Well, clearly, it isn't.
And what happens when you lose complete control of your destiny and are stuck in a world of fear made manifest? Well, if your guardian angel happens to be a demon incarnation of "the dark unknown" who will guide you through a confrontation with your fears...that journey might just free you to make a tough decision and take control of your detiny again. And that's what George does, tragically, at the end.
As for the symbology of the film, it was governed by the myth-base of a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant - it's entirely Judeo-Christian. And we piled it on with a shovel. It's on the nose because it's familiar, learned pretty much during adolescence, and it's all that George knows.
It was extremely satisfying to indulge in the lurid Grand Guignol tradition of this film. Commercially, it was risky, because we were straying from the current tradition of the horror genre.
Shooting the film in 2:35, framing and pacing the story the way we did was utterly intentional.
Could it stand to lose 10-15 minutes for the sake of modern day attention spans? Sure.
Is its subject matter, approach and execution inappropriate for the "horror genre"? Possibly.
Sublime is more in the tradition of psychological thriller/horror. The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Angel Heart, Jacob's Ladder, Memento, Eyes Wide Shut.
Sublime is not a pleasant movie.
If it's an experiment that failed for some and succeeded for others, I'm glad. I'd much rather that the film inspired strong opinions - even dismissive ones - than just lie there like another derivative grade B grindhouse gore-fest.
Everyone involved in Sublime took a chance...and we're all very proud that we did. Five star proud."
atomic | washington, dc United States | 09/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a physician who has dealt with people going through similar experiences. This movie is quite thought provoking in this regard. I tend to agree with a prior reviewer that those who trash it are either looking for a slash movie or do not have the intelligence to realize the implications of this movie. This movie is quite deep on a number of levels. The acting is excellent, the photography is excellent, the plot is intriguing and thought provoking. I would highly recommend it to people who like to do some thinking while watching movies. And to those who watch a lot of movies and enjoy something out of the ordinary. Exraordinary in fact."
Smart film marketer to entirely the wrong crowd
Kays Al-atrakchi | Los Angeles, CA | 04/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For what it's worth, I enjoyed Sublime. Was it a tad too long....absolutely, but that is a forgivable point. I believe that this film is getting bad reviews primarily because it was marketed to the wrong crowd. I think that had this film been presented as a psychological thriller with some supernatural overtones, I think it would have been received much better.
The acting is quite impressive, and so is the writing and cinematography. Kudos to all of the individuals who were involved in the making of this film as I find that they have all gone above and beyond their call of duty considering the time and budgetary challenges that this movie presented.
I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys stories which challenge you and make you think and talk about what you just saw. If movies like Memento, Insomnia, Jacob's Ladder and anything that Lynch or Cronenberg have made adornes your DVD collection, then Sublime will make a good addition!"
Life changing video
Tony G | Steele Alabama US | 03/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can understand not everyone will get this dvd. It is not for kids, not for slasher fans. It is really about worry, life choices and the reality that life isn't always black and white. Bird York's music makes it worth the cost alone. The acting by everyone is fantastic. I have already made my friends order a copy, not rent but order it. I have a living will and I am suggesting everyone who looks at my review do the same. This is a beautiful and yet horrific movie. It is not for the squeamish. Tom Cavannah is great, Bird York is an angel, fantastic acting. I will say it has freaked me out and changed my life. I am so glad it was made. Don't let people tell you it isn't worthy of your time or money. Step outside your comfort zone, just for two hours. I promise, you won't regret it."
Lives up to its name
D. Mills | Silly Valley, CA | 04/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a love-it or hate-it affair. I was drawn to this package by the comparisons to The Twilight Zone, and the association with John Shiban (formerly of the X-Files). I have grown weary of the endless stream of copycat Asian horror and welcome something new in this genre. If you're of the same mindset, I'd suggest you give this one a serious look.
I can't go into too much detail without spoiling the plot, but suffice it to say that that action and psychology of the film spring from the mind of a middle aged white-bread male who is bedridden in a very strange ward in a hospital. There's little splatter or blood here (save for a surgical incision), and we the audience follow him as he goes from reminiscences - mostly family and friends - to the strange east ward of the facility.
Despite the rather limited location, the movie kept my attention from beginning to end. Clocking in at 113 minutes, things were just about right, and the creators freed themselves from the token 90-minute horror standard. The movie tackles issues of innermost fears, and while I think the race issue was overplayed, there is some interesting political satire thrown into the mix, which is explained in detail during the director\writer commentary. The soundtrack is noteworthy, particularly the use of ethnic\techno hybrid sounds in the percussion. Used unobtrusively, it enhances the visual experience.
So take your pick: if you are looking for troubled girl ghosts, serial killers with sickles, or the monster shtick, this isn't for you. If something more cerebral appeals to you, don't miss this one."