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There is something visionary about this near-nonsensical, kitsch but atmospheric techno-thriller from Canadian director Anthony Scott Burns. Drawn along on dark somnambulic rhythms, it incorporates elements of fantasy, horror and 80s synthwave aesthetics without giving itself over completely to any of them.
A wordless first 10 minutes introduces us to Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone), a runaway student apparently unwelcome or unwilling to return home, waking in spectrally lit parks and falling asleep in coffee shops. Dropping suddenly into surrealistic CGI dreams that track inexorably towards a demonic figure who, if approached too closely, wakes her with a start. Sarah decides to try to climb out of this insomniac bath by enrolling in a university sleep study. It is overseen by Dr Meyer, a Cronenbergian academic in big glasses, but run by a trio of researchers who, like the memory technicians in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, have a loose relationship with scientific protocol. Becoming close to Jeremy (Landon Liboiron), she learns that they are using pioneering technology to observe the subjects’ dreams – and that the same shadowy presence manifests in all of them.
But Burns doesn’t pursue this supernatural lead where you would expect, committing instead to a dream-logic that mostly abrogates him of plot duties. Acting as his own cinematographer and editor, he puts together a blow-out of imagery with great technical skill that fleshes out this waking dream of a film. Sarah watches her dream self in Jeremy’s mind’s eye on the monochrome monitors, which later melds into a stylised aquamarine-flooded sex scene that is like a Michael Mann wet dream (a debt acknowledged by the use of Shriekback’s Coelacanth, the spine-chilling tune from Manhunter). Talking is beside the point – and, with Stone adept at mute trepidation, it often feels that way even when there is some dialogue. As for interpreting what it all means, leave that to Burns’s therapist. The flamboyance on display here, though, promises great things.
• Come True is released on 15 March on digital platforms.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Come True review – blow-out imagery in visionary sleep disorder thriller | Film