Come True follows a young woman who is struggling with insomnia due to recurring nightmares with disturbing imagery and a shadowy figure. She decides to attend an experimental testing project to hopefully solve her sleeping problems. As the experiments take unusual and suspicious turns, and her nightmares accelerate in quantity and intensity, she begins to question the goal of the testing and the connection with the sinister presence haunting her subconscious.
Come True Review
Come True has been getting a lot of buzz due to its stylized visuals and soundtrack that give it a unique personality, along with top-notch acting and a twisty, engaging plot. The bar was set quite high. Given the synopsis, the film felt right up my alley, focusing on nightmarish imagery to tell a story about an entity haunting the subconscious. But I can't say I agree completely with the hype.
The film was certainly stylized in an unconventional way that wasn't entirely unique, but it was still fresh enough. The technology is reminiscent of the TV show Maniac and the film Possessor, with this mixture of 70s "future tech" and modern day technology. Its soundtrack reminds me a lot of Drive, with an 80s synth and even a couple of songs that help reinforce the setting as well as instill emotional responses. The whole thing makes you feel a little uncomfortable, with tinges of things being off like It Follows and Jacob's Ladder. The visual and audio style is master-class in many ways.
The nightmare visuals felt like a mix between a Tool music video and Silent Hill. The detail put into the sets exudes a sense of dread and instills a feeling of unsettling tension. And the attention they are given makes them feel more tangible and visceral than what would be expected from a film with an indie budget. While they do get a bit repetitive superficially, the approach also made sense within the realm of recurring nightmares, so while it got a tad monotonous, it also made sense story-wise.
The acting, led by Julia Sarah Stone, is fantastic. Stone was forced in this role to produce a broad range of emotions at their most vibrant and she nails it time after time. Something that shouldn't be understated is that performing in and out of consciousness realistically is not easy. You don't notice when it's done right, but we've all seen the horror movie where the actor or actress wakes up and it looks like take 40 of 126. It feels much more natural with Stone's talents.
So that covers the production quality and acting. What wasn't that fell short? For me, it was the plot. If I didn't think the film deserved a second viewing, I might go as far as saying I hated it. Even if it had made perfect sense, I would still be disappointed. At about the 2/3 mark of the movie, it takes a sudden turn in which branches of the plot are shut down like a TV mystery drama in its 9th season that doesn't know how to wrap everything up so it just ignores it. Characters suddenly disappear, seemingly important scenes end without a conclusion being reached, and we just move on. And at this point, the film decides to throw in about five or six more twists to just completely dismantle everything that was built.
I am hesitant to write these words because, based on the rave reviews I have seen, I am concerned I was too stupid or inattentive to catch onto everything and/or have it all wrap up neatly with all the twists. And that may very well be true, which is why I will give the film another shot. The deft crafting and acting is worthy of a second viewing anyways. But even being able to completely fill the massive plot holes and rationalize every tip and twist, I just can't shake this feeling of pretentiousness and the story being bloated by its own pomposity. So, as stupid as I may be, it doesn't mean I have to like the implied depth of the plot structure.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 6/10
Film Quality: 5/10