'Come True' (2020) based on a story by Daniel Weissenberger and written, directed and filmed by Anthony Scott Burns is one of those films about which at the end of watching you wonder 'what did I actually see?'. It is, of course, a horror film, following many of the rules of the genre, at least until a certain point. Above all, however, it is an oneiric film, a dream on several levels: because at the objective level the script tells a story about sleep, dreams and especially nightmares, because of the way it is made and filmed, and because the final explanation that provides a kind of key to what we have seen, a key that we can accept or not. Of course, I will say nothing about the end, so as not to commit the sin of revealing anything that would rob the viewers of the pleasure of surprise. I will only say that this film has good chances to please both the horror genre lovers and those who look for smart movies without minding if they are strange.
The film debuts as a psychological thriller about coping with sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, and the nightmares caused by them. Sarah ( Julia Sarah Stone) is a college student who spends her nights in parks or at her friend's house, in restless sleep, haunted by nightmares. The proposal to participate in a scientific study of sleep disorders, which provides her with a comfortable bed at night, seems to answer exactly the problems she faces. But what exactly is this clinic, with its immaculate white walls and slightly retro-technical monitoring devices? What is the purpose of the research? The nightmares return, they amplify, the worlds of dream and seemingly objective reality begin to multiply, to mix. The nightmares do not stop with the awakenings.
Why does 'Come True' attract and captivate? First I would mention the cinematography. The representation of dreams, including nightmares, has a rich tradition in the history of the film from Buñuel and Hitchcock to mention two illustrious predecessors. The solution to visualising the dreams proposed by Anthony Scott Burns is not looking for the spectacular but for the psychological impact - his dreams are dark and cloudy, just as we feel when we have a bad dream. The lead actress, Julia Sarah Stone, creates a fantastic role. I rarely throw superlatives, but here I can't help but notice that she is also perfectly distributed physically, and that her expressiveness is at the Academy Awards level. At the age of 23, she proves that she has a ton of talent but also experience, with 38 films in her filmography already listed by IMDB. Compared to her, the other interpretations fade, including that of Landon Liboiron, in the role of the researcher in the sleep study clinic who provides support to the heroine in critical moments. I also liked the ending, although I read it being criticised by other commentators. I think it has the great quality of not trying to explain everything we saw, leaving us to keep thinking and asking questions. Just as intense dreams continue to accompany us after waking up. Recommended viewing.