Come True (2020)

Come True
Director: Anthony Scott Burns
Writer: Anthony Scott Burns
Cast: Julia Sarah Stone, Landon Liboiron, Carlee Ryski, Christopher Heatherington, Chantal Perron, Tedra Rogers
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2019
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Plot:
Haunted by her nightmares, Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone) has real problems sleeping and she really doesn’t want to sleep at home anymore. When she finds out about a sleep study, she hopes to have found the solution to her problem: she has a place to sleep and somebody to watch over her to make sure that she is alright. But the study doesn’t go at all as Sarah expects and her nightmares are getting more threatening every night. They even start to bleed into reality.

Come True is a prime example of a film that is doing really well until it shoots itself in the foot without any reason and then chucks itself off a bridge for good measure. I have rarely seen a film that destroys itself so thoroughly after a good start.

The film poster showing a girl's face, slightly distorted as if on video, one eye covered by an eye patch.

[SPOILERS]

The first part of the film worked really well for me. Sarah’s constant fatigue was captured so well, I seemed to feel it in my very bones (maybe also because I’m familiar with the sensation myself). And the dream sequences were absolutely fantastic – aesthetically interesting and very atmospheric, drawing you in immediately.

But then things went downhill pretty fast, starting with the “romance” between Sarah and Jeremy (Landon Liboiron). Jeremy works in the lab that does the sleep study. His first direct contact with Sarah is him stalking her outside of that setting, though. And then there is a very awkward conversation where Sarah’s age is oh-so-casually mentioned to make sure that we all know she is 18 already! Totally legal! Even if she looks 14! As if it would make things better and as if age was the only issue here.

Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone) on her bike, cycling through the city.

While I was supremely annoyed with that, it was the ending that really did it for me. It is revealed that none of what we saw was actually real – Sarah actually has been in a coma for many years. And that ending not only uses a trite trope, it is such a lazy move because it delegitimizes any questions about the film’s coherence. So what if people suddenly appear and disappear? So what if we never find out what is going on with Sarah’s mother? Nothing here has to make sense because it’s all a dream. It felt cheap to me – and I would say the film was better than that ending.

So, despite the strong beginning, the awesome dream sequences and the very good (albeit slightly overused/coming on too strong) soundtrack, the prevailing feeling for me as I left the film was anger over it. It could have been different.

Jermey (Landon Liboiron) and the other researchers in the lab.

Summarizing: self-sabotages but does some interesting things before that.

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