[Fantasia 2020] “Come True” review

Ever felt as if you wished you could be anywhere but home? Would you be willing to sleep under the stars to avoid going back? What if you constantly had terrifying nightmares haunting you, not only ruining your nights, but ruining your days as well? Finally, what if the figures roaming your mind at night were starting to overflow into real life? Find out how this all unfolds in “Come True” which made its world premiere at this year’s Fantasia Festival.

Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone) is an 18 year-old teenager who tries to spend as much time away from her house as possible. She’s not shy to ask a friend if she can sleep at their place and often even sleeps on a slide at a local park. To make her nights worse, she is plagued by mysterious, creepy nightmares. Consequently, her lack of a recuperating night’s sleep is ruining her school life. When she comes across an ad for a university study concerning sleep, she thinks this might be a 4-for-1 special: make a little extra cash, get a good rest, stay away from her home, as well as potentially rid herself of her nightmares. Unfortunately for her, she’s about to find out that it’s not only dreams that can come true; nightmares can, too.

Writer/director Anthony Scott Burns (director of “Our House” and the “Father’s Day” segment in “Holidays”) drags us into a retro-feel, baffling atmosphere of nightmares. The nostalgic, mystifying soundtrack, a collaborative work between Burns himself, Pilotpriest and Electric Youth, combined to the cool tones of light add a surreal tone to the film, even when Sarah isn’t dreaming. The storyline is knit-together properly, interwoven with mysteriously odd and increasingly macabre, yet visually appealing, nightmare segments.

Julia Sarah Stone is incredibly authentic in the lead role, effectively giving off vibes of exhaustion, distress and terror all at once. The reason why she won’t go home and avoid all contact with her mother remains unknown, but it changes nothing to the rest of the plot or how intrigued we are to its development. She goes through a series of emotions and doesn’t miss a beat.

The “shadow people” concept was very intriguing and quite creepy once they are spotted on a grainy screen; even more once they pierce their way into the real world. Unfortunately, it looks like it was an idea that wasn’t exploited to its full potential as there were many more possibilities to utilize these sinister characters, but those opportunities seemingly fell through the cracks.

Nonetheless, “Come True” is definitely a surreal thriller for which everyone should give a chance, as the Canadian film receives a score of 7/10.

Article written by Simon Rother

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