I just felt duped by the entire thing
COME TRUE (2021)
I can say with honesty that I basically knew nothing about this film before I watched it; I read the one sentence storyline, realized it centered the story around dreams and sleep and thought, “sure, this seems cool!”
One of my biggest pet peeves in a film is when something is introduced or spoken to, and then never gets tied up. This is different than a “McGuffin”--to clarify, I love a “McGuffin” … that means it is something that the director or writer has made you think something is important to the plot of the film, but ends up being nothing at all--however, it has to move the story along so it still serves a purpose. This happens in Come True, annoyingly so. There are lines of dialogue and moments that just never get tied up or resolved by the end of the narrative because it takes such a hard turn at the end of the film that everything before it just makes no sense at all. At first, I had the internalized feeling that I was unsure of where the film was going and what direction it was taking, but in a good way; a way that made me excited for the second half of the narrative. It completely loses steam and goes to such an unexpected place that I just felt duped by the entire thing.
Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone) is a high school aged young woman who decides to take part in a paid sleep study when she finds herself at a low point in her life. The sleep study starts out decently well enough before it turns literally nightmarish and haunting. Shortly after she has started the sleep study, Sarah discovers a man who has been stalking her is someone who works at the sleep study clinic. She confronts him and he lets her in on a few secrets behind the scenes of what is actually going on during this sleep study, completely unknown to the participants. When Sarah’s dreams begin to control her life, she has trouble coping and tries to figure out what exactly is causing her nightmares and how the clinic is involved.
The plot of the story, however, takes a completely different direction in the third act and this is where it is a complete swing and a miss. The film morphs into something else, and not in an intriguing way, but in a way that will leave you questioning “how did we get here?” and saying, “this makes no sense!”
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
The writing was cheap and underdeveloped sometimes but the characters were able to pull it off well enough for most of the scenes. However, the story could have completely done without the random love story it creates for absolutely no reason at all. The film would have been much stronger overall without it. Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone) carries the entirety of any decent portrayal of a range of emotions. She is layered enough to provide complexity to the story, allowing for the little bit of conflict that arises. The rest of the characters and cast are forgettable and dismissable.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
The second best part of this film was the visual effects and editing style. I wish the overall story could have been as creative, committed, and consistent as the effects and editing. The narrative ends up being a very slow burn, but the pace and editing style keep you engaged enough until the writing just ultimately outweighs how good the production elements are in this film.
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The score and sound design of this film are by a thousand miles--the absolute best element. Honestly, if it were not for the score and sound design, I think the would have completely fallen apart very early; the score is what holds it together throughout the sluggish moments and to the end. The moments in the beginning of the narrative, when we are in a sleepy dreamy world, felt like meditation music, lullying the audience into a relaxed, calm state--but not putting us to sleep. The sound ramped up the suspenseful moments with precision. Bottom line, the music and sound never failed this film.
Ultimately the beginning of this film led you to believe there was so much potential to where it was going and it loses steam so quickly that by the last 30 minutes or so, you are so desperate for it to wrap up, that it becomes unenjoyable. The film then takes such a different angle--basically out of left field--that it is almost annoying and laughable that you had to sit through the runtime to get to that conclusion. I felt disappointed and chuckled to myself as the credits rolled. It was quite a ridiculous ending.