Directed by Anthony Scott Burns, Come True is the story of a runaway homeless girl volunteering herself in a scientific research program. The program examines her sleep and her dreams and uncovers new secrets about the human mind and what subconsciously terrifies us most.
Come True is probably the most obscure film I’ve seen in 2020, hands down. It’s the kind of psychedelic slow burn that comes way infrequently than it should. Yes, it’s not exactly mainstream cinema. Heck, it’s probably not even appealing to most film enthusiasts. However, I just can’t forget how immediately immersive and absorbing the film is. It sets the mood and tone perfectly and I immediately knew what I was in for. From a technical viewpoint, this film, in no way, feels like it comes from the hands of a new director. The elaborate score and the mesmerizing cinematography push this beyond the level of your usual indie sci-fi film. It has some obvious and notable issues with its script but is a delight for anyone fascinated by filmmaking.
A delight to the senses
The score is by far the highlight and comes from Electric Youth, a synth-pop duo from Canada, and Anthony Scott Burns himself. Music is a huge part of the experience and immediately puts you in a state of trance. Complimenting that is the cinematography, popping with bold colors and bizarre visual effects. None of this, however, is surprising considering Burns’ experience in visual effects and music. Burns helms this film masterfully and I can’t think of a single moment that feels dull or tactless.
The story revolves around one character, Sarah, played by Julia Sarah Stone. Stone does an excellent job portraying someone struggling emotionally and acts out some truly bizarre moments with ease. A lot of the film relies on her performance instead of gimmicky film tricks and I appreciated that. Even in moments of chaos, the camera stays still and relies on her performance to describe the situation through her emotions. Its subtle moments like these make the film grounded and effectively get under your skin.
Where’d that come from
As much as I love the film, I can’t stop myself from being objective. Like with almost every obscure film, the ending is highly controversial. I personally didn’t like it but that hasn’t tainted my impression of everything else that’s great. There are a lot of great ideas thrown in the mix initially and by the end, the film goes in a direction that never seems to be hinted at. I’ve always felt a good twist or reveal comes from misdirection. Feeling dumbfounded because the answer was in front of you all along, but you still missed it. With Come True, the ending feels like a cop-out instead of delivering on so many potential ideas that were introduced.
Come True is a strange delight to the senses, synergizing its jaw-dropping visuals and its hypnotic synth music, to create a dreamlike experience. Its controversial climax might disappoint most audiences, including myself, but doesn’t ruin the surreal journey leading up to it.