Copperheart Entertainment and Angel Entertainment combine to bring to you “Come True,” a new science fiction horror film opening in select theaters and on-demand tomorrow, March 12. Written and directed by the multitalented Anthony Scott Burns, this movie is a slow, dreamy science fiction story that will immerse, wow, and horrify.
In a time like the present, runaway teen Sarah sleeps in a local park and suffers from recurring nightmares. In need of a better place to crash each night, she comes across an ad seeking participants in a university-backed sleep study. Hook up to one of the machines in their special room, fall asleep, and get paid. Sounds all too simple. That’s until her nightmares start getting worse. Soon the threatening shadows in her dreams start manifesting in the real world, the hellish alternative to the idea of your dreams coming true.
“Come True” is the second feature film to be directed by Burns, and in many ways is a throwback to the seventies and eighties. The visuals are often soaked in a blue tint, the technology the characters use is reminiscent of analog equipment from days gone by, and the score is from old-fashioned electronic synthesizers. It’s entertaining to see this aesthetic applied to a time like today, especially in the music.
Rather than rely on typical horror scares, the movie is an atmospheric experience. The horror is generated from the haunting imagery to the nightmares the characters endure, and the dread generated as the protagonist slowly discovers the true nature of the experiments. Films like “A Nightmare on Elm Street” explored nightmarish terrors coming to life, but were more or less conventional in their presentation. “Come True” reflects a more cerebral approach, feeling like a throwback to the dread horror cinema of David Cronenberg.
The story involves dreams, and what makes up our nightmares. Shadowy figures emerge in truly frightening imagery and spine-chilling sound design, first in their consciousness and then in the real world. But thematically they represent the demons that these characters have to face. Their helplessness is easily felt as an audience member, especially as you watch the story play out as a passive viewer.
The cast is solid, featuring Landon Liboiron as an initially adversarial scientist, who later evolves into a sympathetically. A lesser actor might not have pulled the nuance of such a character off. The star, Julia Sarah Stone, is impressive in the lead role of Sarah and should have a promising career ahead of her.
Thematically dense and visually eye-opening, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more memorable recent release than “Come True.” Bringing vivid dreams to life with fantastic lighting and thought-provoking ideas like the role of technology in our everyday life, it’s a great example of a thoughtful script getting the vivid imagery it deserves. The slow pace and twist ending may turn off some people, but it totally fits with the dream theme and horror aspects of the genre.