Film Review

Anthony Scott Burns’s Come True

Sometimes a film just effortlessly and uncannily combines several elements that just resonates with me and lands as an all time favourite on the first time watch. In the case of Anthony Scott Burns’s Come True it’s the gorgeous mix of SciFi/horror, analog/VHS inspired aesthetic, dream and REM sleep centred storytelling, surreal artistic visuals and the synth dripping, supersonic original score by Electric Youth that just makes this film something so special I don’t even have the words. The story concerns a runaway teenager (Julia Sarah Stone) who sleeps on playground slides (theres a metaphor in there somewhere), lives a restless nomad life and suffers from paralyzing nightmares. She agrees to participate in a sleep study for cash by a shady group that has patented technology that maps and visualizes people’s dreams onto video screens, but this only seems to exacerbate her nightmares and literally give them the power to cross over into waking life. That’s just the diving board from which we plunge into a roiling subconscious abyss of daring, unapologetically strange narrative and atmospheric substance and it soon becomes clear that director Burns, although meticulously in control of his craft and vision, wishes to let this story run completely wild and go off the edge of the map, which is a great fit considering this is a film about dreams. Some folks will undoubtably dismiss this as confusing and inaccessible but for me it pierced a frequency in my psyche that few films are able to tune into and is just the perfect soul food for my warped perception and taste in film that always hungers for the different, the weird, the boundary pushing. Actress Stone has an ethereal, pixie-like aura to her that lends itself nicely to the overall vibe. We are treated to numerous extended dream sequences which are all shot through this sort of of perpetual POV forward propulsion movement, a technique that tricks us into thinking we are ourselves moving directly into both our TV screens and the dreams themselves, then we are presented in horrific inevitable fashion with the powerful antagonistic forces on display in dreamland and it feels just about as terrifyingly tactile and immersive as being in our own dream worlds, a genius filmmaking choice really, not to mention all of the dazzlingly surreal, stark monochrome imagery and artistic flourishes along the way. Electric Youth kind of got screwed in their first original score which was for a film called ‘Breathing’ that for whatever reason was never finished or released, but their wonderful work on it can still be heard on Spotify. Here they get another shot and go absolutely synthwave ballistic for an original composition that is so beautiful your ears will bleed neon and you’ll hear it in your own dreams. It brings the story to life in ways that transcend traditional narrative at times and lures you into its world until you are transfixed right up until the ballsy twist ending that will have some people rolling their eyes and some people’s minds blown, I thought it capped the story perfectly. I don’t often use the M word but to me, and my sensibilities of what I look for in film, this is a flat out masterpiece.

-Nate Hill

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