Here's To the Future Cult of Come True

It's pretty rare when a modern horror film exceeds "fine but nothing special" or "interesting failure" status for me, let alone the "god awful dreck" that currently floods most of our streaming services.  So when something noteworthy comes along, you've gotta stop and give them their due, right?  Well, that's what I'm doing with 2020's Come True, a sci-fi/ horror indie from Canada.
It's the story of a troubled young woman plagued by nightmares of creepy shadowy figures in a dark, surreal world.  She signs up for a sleep study where the researchers can monitor their subjects' dreams.  And it turns out everybody is somehow seeing these same beings.I wasn't expecting too much, since writer/ director Anthony Scott Burns' first film sucked (but he didn't write that one), and the only other thing you may've seen is that he contributed a middle-of-the-road sequence to the very mixed bag anthology Holidays (he did Father's Day).  Come True, now, is broken into four Jungian chapters, which are a key to understanding this world of the collective unconscious.  It might be giving this film too much credit to call it Lynchian, but Come True is ambitious, dreamlike (I mean beyond the subject matter), beautifully shot and creatively art directed.  The music, also by the Burns, sounds funky and futuristic in the way Tangerine Dream soundtracks used to.  There's a throw-back, low tech theme, where the scientists are viewing the dreams on 80s CRT monitors and watching Night Of the Living Dead at the local cinematheque.  One gets the sense that they've decided to own their shortcomings and incorporate their limitations into intentional design choices, but hey, it works.
It's pretty great, but it's certainly not flawless.  All the dream sequences follow a direct railroaded path, like they were created in a program that they didn't pay to unlock the non-freeware features, which would've let them swing the camera around.  More crucially, it has a ending I'd call divisive, except the majority of viewers seem united in hating it.  Look at the (high) critical rating verses (low) audience score on Rotten Tomatoes for an idea.  I'm not going to spoil anything, but I would just recommend going in with zero expectations for satisfying explanations or clear resolutions, so you can just enjoy the ride without any disappointments.  I personally don't hate the ending - though I don't love it either - but this is a movie like Lost Highway or Mulholland Dr. in the sense that we're left to puzzle out what just happened, but with an extra middle finger of a final denouement, where it really feels like the filmmakers are taking delight in antagonizing conventional audiences.  If nothing else, the screenwriter is a little too online.  But if you can handle that, you're in for a real treat.
Scream Factory released essentially barebones discs of Come True on DVD and Blu-ray back in November as part of their IFC Midnight line.  But by that time it had already been out for some months in Canada, from its production company's distributor line Raven Banner, as a slightly fancier 2-disc special edition.  It's not exactly fully-loaded with extras, but for devotees, especially those on the hunt for additional clues, it's pretty essential.  And since I already had the RB blu, I just picked up the SF DVD for a cheap comparison, because the transfer's not really the issues.  It's a new film shot on digital, it's going to look basically the same everywhere.  But, still, let's take a look.
2021 Scream Factory DVD top; 2021 Raven Banner BD bottom.
So, okay, maybe there is one pertinent (albeit very minor) distinction between the two releases.  Obviously, Raven Banner's (I keep wanting to write "Raven's Banner") blu-ray is in HD and therefor noticeably sharper with cleaner edges and more legible detail.  But presumably, the Scream Factory BD would be the same.  The comparison reveals exactly what you'd expect; one isn't even a shade brighter than the other or anything.  BUT.  The aspect ratio is off.  Scream's DVD is 2.33:1 and Raven Banner's BD is the correct 2.39:1.  Nothing's cropped out; the Scream Factory DVD is just stretched a smidgen tall.  That begs the question: is the Scream Factory blu stretched, too?  So I visited's review, cropped and measured one of their screenshots and nope, SF's blu is also 2.39.  It's just the DVD that's 2.33.  As we'll see, there are reasons to choose RB's blu over SF's, but the transfer isn't one of them.
The audio isn't really either, unless you're visually impaired.  All three discs feature the original 5.1 track - in lossless DTS-HD on both blus - with optional English and Spanish subtitles.  Scream Factory adds an extra stereo mix (also in DTS-HD on the blu), and RB adds an extra lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital. I don't know what the point of any of those second audio tracks is, but they're there.  But Scream has also added a third audio descriptive track, which again, visually impaired fans might actually find useful.  And even if you're 20/20, it's kind of interesting to watch the dream sequences with that track on:

"Darkness fades.  A rocky tunnel is revealed.  A passageway looms at the end of the tunnel.  Finger-like rocks surround the passage.  Through the passageway, in an upside-down university hallway, a human silhouette stands.  The figure morphs into a blob.  Another upside-down figure stands behind it.  Past the figure is a hole.  Through the hole, a school desk and chair sit in the center of a dark space.  Past the desk, an orifice gapes on the wall.  A human silhouette stands through the orifice.  Fade to black."
But here's where the the paths really split.  Scream Factory's disc is basically barebones.  It has the trailer, a couple bonus trailers, and comes in a slipcover.  That's it.

Raven Banner, though, has real special features.  First of all, yes, it also has the trailer, bonus trailers and comes in a slipcover.  So no ground is lost.  But then this version also includes a behind-the-scenes 'making of' featurette, which is short, but provides a little welcome insight into the production.  I wish it was longer.  And more importantly, there's a solid fifteen minutes of deleted scenes with backstory and more wild horror moments, which answer a lot of questions viewers will have had, while raising just as many new ones.  When I first watched this film, I dug pretty deep into the online discussions and debates over this film (which says a lot about the strengths of Come True, because that's something I'll rarely do), and the things found here disprove some popular theories, support others and suggest very interesting alternate possibilities.  I think you'll come away with a better understanding of the film, but still be left with a lot to ponder.  Oh, and if you need even more value for your import dollar, Raven Banner also includes the soundtrack CD with their release.
So Come True is not for everybody.  I mean, a quick scan of letterboxd, IMDB or Google reviews shows a lot of people are super mad at it.  But if that sounds like more of an invitation than a warning to you, than I think you're going to dig this.  Again, putting this on par with David Lynch would be getting carried away, but Lost Highway is a good barometer.  Whether you loved or hated the enigma of that film should directly sync up with how you take the one here.  And I bet, a few decades down the road, this will wind up getting championed as a cult film.  So why not get ahead of the curve?  And even if you do wind up hating it, at least it'll be an interesting failure.

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