Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tony Krantz - Sublime (2007)

George Grieves goes into surgery, the day after his fortieth birthday, for a routine colonoscopy. But when he comes round, things have gone wrong. More wrong, even, than a surgery mix-up… He’s having strange hallucinations, or are they? Memories return from his birthday party the night before, which seem to be entwining themselves with his present reality and his anxieties - but why can’t he seem to convince anyone to take him home?

Sublime opens impressively. The surreal, noir-ish mood is very well done, as is the mood of understated, but increasing, disquiet, and the mysterious, fleeting symbolic and physical connections between the disjointed scenes. This is one of those films where the location, in this case, the hospital, is a character in its own right. But, as in many other films of this ilk (Identity), a set-up like this (what’s going on here?) is easy to put into motion, but difficult to resolve in a satisfactory way. In this case, the understated mood goes out the window (and in comes the gore), in the process introducing all kinds of issues, which remain unresolved, around tricky areas like class and race; and finally we’re presented with a completely unsatisfactory, but total, explanation for George’s experience.

An interesting film which is certainly outside of the run of the mill, and superior to, the standard mainstream horror movie, but which ultimately fails spectacularly to deliver on its tantalising initial promise.

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