A couple of months ago I reviewed a film that was a sequel to a film I took far too much joy on torpedoing and in that sequel’s review I wanted to make it clear that I wasn’t the same person that wrote that first review. I am more than happy to talk mess on a bad movie, and will make no apologies for my disdain but I just don’t take any joy in it anymore. I have created enough art that I know how much of yourself goes into your creations and just don’t want to take a big fat dump on something people worked hard to create. SAYING THAT though, even with the best intentions you can create crap.
And sometimes crap is crap.
Which isn’t really to say that COME TRUE is crap but man, this is one well-polished turd.
COME TRUE is the story of a young runaway (though we never find out WHY she’s on the run or really from WHO, though I guess her mom and, spoiler, she didn’t run far) trying to survive on the street and maintain as close to a normal life as possible (she still goes to high school!?). Complicating life even more is that she suffers from terrifying nightmares that make it near impossible for her to get any restful sleep. She sees and ad for subjects for a sleep study and needing the cash and possibly the chance to get some answers about her dreams she joins the study. No one will tell her what the study is for, what outcomes they want, or why there are only two women in the study. Frustrated by the secrecy the young woman goes through with the study but finds that even there she can find no safe haven from the nightmares. Behind the scenes they are beginning to zero in on the data they want – why humans seem to dream of the same frightening beings – and just as they are starting to wonder if they can get more information the young woman’s reactions start getting worse and she is finally let in on what is happening with the study.
Something that was never supposed to happen.
Knowing that they are studying the horrors of her nightmares though doesn’t explain why she is having the dreams…or why the being in them is starting to be seen in real life too.
First off, the nightmare imagery in this is AMAZING. I said more than once while watching COME TRUE that they should have expanded on that aspect and just made a SILENT HILL film. Truly, that is the best part of the film, hands down.
Ah, but then the rest of it…
This is a well-made film by someone with an obvious love of the genre – especially Romero. The acting is well done, it is well filmed, and the production value is there. The look is very clearly inspired by early Cronenberg and there is that sterility to the story overall. The core idea is fantastic and if you could peel away the last third of the film and create a better way to tie it all together you could have an amazing movie. Alas, there is a point in the film where things just went off the rails and it never really got back on them. The entire film I couldn’t quite figure out the age the young lead is supposed to be portraying. She looks VERY young and her character SEEMS young, though trying hard to be older. When one of the leads with the sleep study seems to fancy her, it was hard not to raise my eyebrows a bit but when we are shown a scene where we see her watching one of his dreams (that’s the big conceit of the film, that they figured a way to look at people’s dreams) and it’s she and he as naked vampires before they start dream making out, I was taken right out of the movie. It’d be a bold choice indeed to have a main character that is a bit of a pedo, but things get even weirder and creepier. The young woman, who isn’t that put off by his having stalked her earlier or that he watches her sleep and dream, sticks around only to eventually tell the guy that she is, in fact eighteen. You literally see his character perk up (though I wondered if he’d be turned off by knowing she was legal) and the next scene is a five minute one of them having sex. Oh, sure, they try to throw a scare in there but girl, lemme tell you, the movie’s done by then. This girl you figure is, at best, sixteen, MAYBE seventeen, is suddenly banging the creepy guy that was stalking her with no effort to show that it was her way to escape some trauma, or that she had some other reason for wanting him but nope, she has agency and just wants that nerd lovin’.
The scene is like throwing the full brake on a fast-moving train and the movie never really regains its momentum.
The movie moves forward, dropping all the other characters we were shown to focus on the girl, the geek, and one other person we barely even know to force us to a conclusion that answers none of the questions that were presented and doesn’t even pose better, more interesting ones. Instead, we are given a wrap-up that makes not one jot of sense and in fact creates one of the biggest movie cop outs I have seen in YEARS. I am sure on paper it sounds compelling, and may even work, and heck, there is a way to even make it feasible, but this is a classic show, not tell situation and it just puts the cherry right on top of what became a big fail sundae.
This is obviously a filmmaker with talent, with vision, and with a keen eye. I am sure that they will go on to make more films and will find some sort of fandom in their work. Heck, I only watched this after seeing someone’s comment at how this was one of the best films of 2021. They were wrong.
This is the most needlessly unnerving and creepy movies of the year and is really one that is going to give a lot of people the shivers for the worst reasons. There is some great imagery here, make no mistake, but with the creep factor and the absolutely unforgivable ending I can’t recommend this at all.
1.5 out of 5
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