Come True [Fantasia Fest]

I’ve told a few people and I included this film in one of the films I was most looking forward to, and I’m so excited to say that it didn’t disappoint in the slightest. This may be one of my new favourites of the year.

In 2018, I reviewed Our House and I fell in love. Not during my first watch, but it welcomed me back again and again. It was a film based in real fears and emotions and in my review, I stated that while it wasn’t filled with scares, I was scared of some of the things in it. Also, it was clear that Anthony Scott Burns was fascinated with science in regards to his films. And the same can very much be said about his latest, Come True.

Come True follows Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone), an 18-year old who’s still in high school, and avoids sleeping in the comfort of her own bed. In fact, when we first meet her, we meet her asleep on the slide in a playground. She goes home and changes before school, but makes sure to only go in once her mother has left. We never truly learn the relationship she has with her mom, but she avoids her house. She tries to go to school, has trouble staying awake, and then again, ends up at the playground, on that slide, and sleeps. And then we get a brief glimpse of what she dreams about, and it’s beautiful – in an absolutely terrifying way.

She has trouble sleeping, but one day at a coffee shop as she’s buying one of her 3-6 coffees per day, she sees a flyer for a sleep study. So she attends it, to find a safer place to sleep then her own home, or the slide she normally calls her bed, and that’s when things go from bad to worse.

The style in the dream sequences are perfection. We are stuck in these never ending hallways, and the camera slowly and beautifully glides down them, so seamlessly. And slowly, we get closer and closer to these shadow figures. Funnily enough, they remind me a bit of the spirits that were found in Our House – which is absolutely fine with me because they were scary then, but in these nightmare dreamscapes, they’ve become terrifying.

I currently live in a basement, and on the day of the screening, I was home alone. I set my laptop up to the TV, streamed it and turned all the lights off. It wasn’t long before I began to regret it and even thought to myself, I’m probably going to have to sleep with some lights on tonight. If, I get some sleep. I’ve always been afraid of the dark, and I have a tendency of looking for things in the dark that aren’t real (I hope). Shadow figures with glowing eyes, are definitely the things I would imagine. So that imagery spoke to me, and I believe that’s part of the praise that Anthony might be looking for.

Anthony must also be praised for the absolutely incredible score that he worked on alongside Electric Youth that feels ripped out of the ’80s is his work. The cinematography is breathtaking, every moment of it. He wrote the screenplay (with story credit to Daniel Weissenberger) and he balances the pseudo-science that help create this world.

I’ve been to a few film festivals over the past decade, and out of everyone of them, I always find a film that I love and can’t stop talking or thinking about. With Fantasia, it feels like every other day I’m finding that film, again and again. Come True is another film out of the long list of films from the festival that is an absolute knockout. This has been my first Fantasia, and I think I realized I need to go next year, and the year after that, and after that.

Anthony Scott Burns’ Come True is a film filled with great atmospheres and incredible scares. And like I said when I watched Our House for the first time, when the scares come, I felt them, because I felt a connection to the characters, and a connection to the story. I did the same for Come True, in his script, and the incredible performance from Julia Sarah Stone. I screamed and questioned when certain things happened, and I was scared. For Sarah, and for myself. Like I said, I think I’m going to sleep with some lights on.