Sublime Tony Krantz

The second instalment of the "Raw Feed” series of original horror flicks designed for DVD, Sublime is a puzzling look at the psychosis that can plague anyone going in for surgery. George Grieves (Canadian Tom Cavanagh of TV’s Ed, Scrubs and Labatt Blue ads) is scheduled for a routine colonoscopy soon after his 40th birthday. Once admitted, George experiences either a bizarre hallucination or a serious fuck-up on behalf of the hospital. He befriends a nurse who tries to help him uncover the truth but while one minute she’s mounting him the next she’s lying all bandaged up with limbs severed. There’s an evil, bespectacled attendee who’s slowly poisoning George in the most blatantly sadistic manner and we don’t really know exactly what’s going on until the final ten minutes. For a lot of Sublime, you feel more disoriented than George, because the film makes about as much sense as a nightmare you barely remember a month later. There are flashbacks of George’s birthday spliced in between the hospital scenes and while they seem important they fail to give us the required context. The surreal hospital, meanwhile, leaves you scratching your scalp till it bleeds; it gets way too convoluted in its attempt to psych us out. When we’re finally filled in on what exactly is going on it feels way past the deadline for delivering such an important twist. Frankly, what we’re dealt before the big eye-opener is far too complex and slow-paced to engage. It’s a struggle to get through Sublime, and even though Krantz does an admirable job introducing the gore, unfortunately it’s not nearly visceral enough to appeal to the audience it’s so obviously aiming for. Plus: commentary, "surgical exorcism” featurette. (Warner)