Sunday, April 18, 2021

Film Review: Come True (2020)

Once in a while, a relatively small horror-like movie comes along and shakes up the international indie scene to its core. A few years back, It Follows did that. Insidious managed to do the same more than a decade ago. Now, I'm certain that Come True is doing the same once again.The film, written and directed by Anthony Scott Burns, starts off in a strong and subtle manner. It showcases the life of Sarah, a teenager that is in the process of fully running away from home. 

In the first minutes, the film showcases her experience in that limbo of being and not being at home, offering a taste of segmented realities that will soon take over. The same minutes also present a very touching and gentle world of Sarah, even as she sleeps on a deserted kid's playground. Here, the cinematography offers a very 80s sense of tension and dread, hidden behind a regular suburban environment.

The same tension racks up as Sarah enters a sleep study at a local research facility. There, she and a few more volunteers being their tasks of sleeping with the science team following their experiences. At first, the researchers apparently only follow their vital signs, but it is soon revealed that their equipment follows - and sees - a lot more than that. Throughout this, Sarah dreams of terrible spaces and ominous figures, which also spill over into what is or isn't her waking world.

Here's also the point where that sense of dread picks up, embodied in a great performance of Julia Sarah Stone. The young actress does an excellent job in offering Sarah as a complex, confused but still determined character who wants to do - something. That thing she needs to do is also the central mystery of the film, which fuses itself into the final sequence of horror, wonder, and sheer audio-visual experience. That experience is in neither a fully awakened state, nor a gripping nightmare, but something born out of the union of these two forces.

Narratively odd, visually brilliant, and most importantly, daring, Come True is a seminal horror science-fiction film of the early 2020s. I'm certain that it will become a cult classic before the end of this decade and for all the good reasons.