Anthony Scott Burns moody and lo-fi science fiction film has echoes of Cronenberg as it stylishly engrosses yet at the same time unsettles. While it doesn’t answer all the questions you would like, Come True is a terrific movie which will lead to multiple rewatches. A sure fire gem ready to be discovered.
Plagued by ghoulish nightmares, Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone), a troubled student who is continually evading her mother, signs up to a sleep disorder study. Hoping to stop her sinister dreams finally, she unknowingly becomes the channel to a horrifying discovery.
The standout throughout Come True is, without a doubt, the style and direction. Accentuated by Sarah and others’ nightmares, you become entranced by what is on the screen. This dark shadowy world is alien to us, and the mystery of what is happening or what could happen fills us with intrigue. We continually expect a scare to come our way. But this isn’t that type of film, and instead, tension and dread fill us. Journeying through this almost Giger like world until the tall shadowy man with bright eyes comes to the fore.
Burns reveals in taking us back into these dream worlds, and when he can finally let loose with the premise of the film, we have to try and figure out what is real and what is not. The camera’s floating nature in this world makes us feel as if we are on a ride, and we like the dreamer cannot get off. Burns does magic with so little in Come True that it is honestly astonishing at what he achieves here. His one-person act as director, writer, editor and cinematographer shows his abundance of talent, and the ability to demonstrate his vision as clearly as he does here is brilliant. This minimalist approach works very well for the film as we build up a great deal of atmosphere.
The lack of an actual structure to the film is what helps it shine but, at times, can also be its biggest enemy. Come True is set up and presented as a dream, flowing carefree throughout, picking up with Sarah as and when needed. Much like the current predicament that Sarah is in, Come True could be seen as aimless. However, the film is just so strong visually and under the surface of the narrative. This is thanks to the world-building by Burns that you forgive it, and by the time we reach the final scene, it becomes an astonishingly bold movie. In truth, the viewer will either love or hate the ending, but for a film such as this to go where it does needs to be applauded.
Applause also needs to be given to the synth-heavy score illuminating the film as much as the vivid colour choices do. Sometimes, it can be underappreciated how vital a score can be to a film, but it is integral to how the audience feels about what they see on screen with Come True. Minimalist films such as this live and die by their score, which is one of the strongest in quite a while.
Julia Sarah Stone does wonders here in her role as the beleaguered Sarah. She is further tormented by her dreams and coping because those dreams are increasingly coming into reality. Stone capably shows this haunted persona and shows those inkling of fight within to reach a better place. Sarah is a character that is overwrought with issues, and as the film goes on, little intention is shown to tell us the cause of all of Sarah’s issues. This mystery works well, thanks to Stone, as we are here only to witness the troubles that she is experiencing now. These dark, ominous nightmares that plague her allow her to be compelling as she not only tries to understand what is wrong with her, but what is the point of the study?
Anthony Scott Burns has created a stunning spectacle here that successfully immerses the viewer into this world. The purposeful lack of information spread throughout Come True will either infuriate or intrigue its audience. By allowing the audience to follow along the journey and not have the narrative thoroughly explained to us, we are left feeling the tension as the darkness slowly creeps in. An excellent feature that will have the viewer asking a lot of questions.
Come True, in cinemas from 12th March, on Digital Download from 15th March, and on Limited Edition Blu-ray from 5th April.
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