Self-assured and soft spoken, eighteen year-old Sarah Dunn is a girl with troubles rather than a girl who is trouble, sleeping rough in parks but still attending her classes where she tries to stay awake, passing out instead in the library, meeting friends in coffee shops to arrange a safer bed for a night or two. A notice seeking subjects for a sleep study is a dream come true, a secure facility where she will be paid to sleep soundly.
The trial scheduled to last for two months, the researchers will monitor and record the brainwave activity of Sarah and the other volunteers during REM sleep and she will answer questions the following morning, but Jeremy, known as “Riff” to the others, has his own project alongside that of Doctor Meyer, asking Sarah to view abstract photographs and gauging her reactions, inexplicably intense and shocking.
Written and directed by Anthony Scott Burns from a story by Daniel Weissenberger, Come True is a science fiction thriller of the dark passages of the subconscious which parallels the experimental regimes of Altered States, Brainstorm and LFO, Burns incorporating several nods towards George A Romero though filmed in Edmonton, Alberta, the style is more reflective of early David Cronenberg in the sterile setting of the university facility, sparse, drab and functional.
A contrast to the flowing dreamscapes of islands rising out of the textured mist, an imagined landscape of ruins and twisted bodies, the aftermath of some unfathomable battle, endless doors opening to levels beyond, always the journey ends with a glimpse of the darkened figures lurking on the cusp of comprehension, their glowing eyes piercing the dark, an image soon realised to be consistent across all the dreamers, presumed to be a shared fundamental of the human psyche by Doctor Meyer but perhaps something else impinging on the dreamers from beyond.
As Sarah, Julia Sarah Stone is strong yet vulnerable, accustomed to taking care of herself and hesitant in her trust, while Landon Liboiron’s Riff flits between genuine concern and outright creepy, one ethics violation away from censure if his supervisor wasn’t likely more interested in results than the potential damage done to get them, trying to unravel the mysteries of the subconscious even as it entangles him, creeping up on him like sleep.
Built around fragments of nightmares, Come True drifts like a dissipating dream, carrying a sense of importance and significance if only it could be understood, Sarah’s childhood sleepwalking manifesting as she parallels the paths of her dreams in the real world where the gathering darkness matches her visions of the other world, impressions abstract yet disturbing until deflated by a trite final shot explanation where ambiguity and questions would have been more interesting.
Come True will be on Digital Download from Monday 15th March and on Blu-ray from Monday 5th April