(Note: SPOILERS AHEAD)
I had high hopes for this movie, and it starts off strong. We meet our main character Sarah as she wakes from a disturbing dream. Due to unspecified issues at home, Sarah has no place to go and has spent the night sleeping at a playground. After arranging to sleep over at a friend’s house for a night, she joins a sleep study because they are offering a free place to sleep for two months. However, there seem to be mysterious goings-on with the researchers and Sarah’s nightmares are getting worse.
The setup here is pretty great, and then the movie starts heading into the ditch after that opening act. Is Sarah unable to sleep because of the dreams or because she has nowhere to go? The film doesn’t care, because it just needs to get her into the sleep study. There is clearly some internal strife with the researchers but that is all left vague and unresolved. A weird love interest is ham-handedly injected, and then we are informed in the dumbest, most abrupt way possible that Sarah—to whom we were introduced as she was headed to and falling asleep in her high school classes—is actually eighteen before it immediately cuts to the love interest having sex with her.
And then there are the dream sequences. Clearly intended to be Very Creepy and Unsettling, they grow tedious after the third or fourth time we have a POV shot drifting down darkened corridors lined with dark figures and passing through door after door.
All of this is bracketed by chapter-like title cards with psycho-babble headings: “The Persona,” “The Anima and the Animus,” “The Shadow.” Then those stop about midway through the film and seem to be completely forgotten about.
The movie is well shot and the filmmakers were clearly going for “dreamlike.” Unfortunately, the result is that there is really only about half a movie’s worth of story here, and it is the wrong half. I wish they had spent less time on long tracking shots accompanied by royalty-free synthwave tracks and more time digging into Sarah’s backstory. What’s going on with her and her mother? Why is she not sleeping?
The movie seems to want us to think it has deep things to say about human consciousness/unconsciousness and the dream world. There are hints of some sort of archetype-like shadow common to all people’s dreams that can somehow manifest in the real world, but this whole idea is dropped almost as soon as it is offered up by the film, almost like they forgot they had mentioned it.
And honestly, if it were possible for my eyes to physically roll out of my head, they would have done so at the film’s Big Reveal in the closing minutes of the final act. I guess we are supposed to be shocked that the last third of the movie has all been in a dream, but unfortunately, Western Union itself could not have more thoroughly telegraphed this big twist.
Come True is not entirely without merit, and I don’t wish I had the time I spent watching it back. Nonetheless, I cannot recommend this movie and you should save yourself the trouble of watching it.