Dreams are, according to the boring Wikipedia version of what Freud wrote about them, are manifestations of one’s desires and anxieties. So basically, if a person has a nightmare, it’s a sensory and possibly symbolic version of what they were already thinking about. Anthony Scott Burns’ Come True has a different explanation for nightmares. That’s true with the ones that Sarah Dunn (Julia Sarah Stone) experience. She enters a focus group that studies her sleep, which makes her sleep a more relaxing experience. That’s until that pendulum swings to the other direction and she gets panic attacks after her dreams.
Come True chooses to depict its dream world less stylistically its real one, and viewers can extrapolate some reason for why that is. Dreams, as shaky as they can be, exist, at least in my experience, as a gray world, less colorful than real life. Academic spaces, then, are normally antiseptic both in real life and in film. The film depicts some of the spaces here with neon lights. These neon rooms then have screens capturing Sarah and her dreams. These screens feel less slick and more decidedly analog. The stylistic decisions feel distracting and don’t willingly suspend disbelief.
Films, understandably, don’t have to explain everything about the world it creates, but there are limits to that rule. Sarah is a runaway and it never explains why that is. The same goes for the professional relationship between the scientists like Jeremy (Landon Liboiron) and Anita (Carlee Ryski). There’s one scene where they follow Sarah into the woods and Anita actually calls Jeremy by another name. With or without that gaff, the relationships here feel tenuous and it doesn’t convince the viewers why they do things for each other. After that, Come True sadly spends its final act with contrivances.