Plenty of sci-fi films have tackled the hefty topic of dreams before – with Christopher Nolan’s Inception perhaps the most prolific example, and Horse Girl a recent effort in this sub-genre. Come True is the next in line: a story about a directionless young woman whose decision to undergo a sleep study opens up a world of disturbing visions, existential questions and murky sci-fi ideas.
We follow Sarah (played exuberantly by Julia Sarah Stone), whose fractious relationships with her unseen and unheard mother leads to her sleeping rough in a children’s park, or flitting from sofa to sofa. The promise of easy money from a sleep study – something she wants to undertake due to the increasingly frequent nightmares she has containing a mysterious shadowy spectre – is alluring to Sarah, but she soon discovers the intentions behind the study are more sinister than she could’ve imagined.
Director Anthony Scott Burns doesn’t shy away from the abstract in Come True – in fact, it’s arguably slightly over-directed, with the focus on visuals and tone not quite aligning with the plotting and performances. It doesn’t reach the territory of style-over-substance, but there’s stretches of the film yearning for greater narrative development, a shame given the inherently fascinating nature of the subject matter explored here. Burns delves into the anonymous boogeyman that we all unconsciously formulate, but never quite nails the tone, flirting with aesthetics from sci-fi, horror, and at times outright fantasy.
Which isn’t necessarily a problem – if you go into this aware that plot development is at a premium, it’s an ethereal and visually enjoyable treat. But the ideas here are much richer than the script gives them credit for. It builds mystery well, but isn’t sure how to deliver on these promises, resulting in an ending that darts between so many different conclusions that you’re left wishing it had wrapped up five minutes earlier. At its core, Come True has so much to say about the human experience, vulnerability and fear – but it ends up simultaneously not exploring its ideas enough, and biting off more than it can chew.
Come True will be in UK Cinemas from 12th March, on Digital Download from 15th March & on Limited Edition Blu-ray from 5th April.