Written and directed by Antony Scott Burns, his new film, Come True (2021), is a mix of dark fantasy, psychological, cyber-horror that is fueled by ’80s synth and broody indie rock soundtrack, all of which create the cool and ominous atmosphere of this movie. Come True takes many twists and turns, employing a bevy of different genres, which make it hard to truly peg this movie into one sub-genre of horror.
Come True tells the story of an 18-year-old woman named Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone) who lives on the streets and sleeps in the park, though chooses to still attend high school. When one day she stumbles upon a paying sleep study, she is accepted into the program, hopeful that it will help with her insomnia and provide a place to sleep. Unbeknownst to Sarah, the sleep study is not exactly above board, as the intent behind the study is sinister and proves to be mentally torturous for the trial subjects.
Come True alternates between the sad reality of a young woman and the nightmarish world that exists within her mind — Anthony Scott Burns (writer/director) reveals the dreamworld gradually as the film progresses, and with each renewed view, the world is shown to be the stuff of nightmares. Come True employs haunting imagery and stunning cinematography — I found myself drawn inside the movie’s nightmarish world like a moth to a flame. In attempting to find what makes the human mind tick, the team finds that some mysteries should never be solved and that the human mind should remain safely locked.
Though Come True is centered around a barely legal young woman, nothing about this film feels like a “teen” movie. Julia Sarah Stone’s mature performance grounds this character in the film’s horrific reality without any fluff or much teenage angst. It is a movie that captures adolescence in a mature way, which I would compare to what Let The Right One In similarly accomplished, except in Come True, the monster is inside the protagonist’s head and not inside of a box.
For me, though Come True had some weird blips in directorial choice, in my opinion — like it being about 10 minutes too long in the 3rd half, inserting what is practically a music video in the middle of the movie, and introducing an ethically problematic and unnecessary love interest — overall, I loved this movie more and more with each passing moment of it falling further into a world of its own, a world that was a beautiful mix of fantasy and digital as the film attempted to translate the human mind into digital code.