As 31 Days of Halloween winds down, I’m really trying very hard to catch up on many films I’ve had on my list for a long time. That includes these three that were all released within the last year or so. So I finally carved out some time to watch them, and for the most part, I was pretty impressed.
COME TRUE (2020)
Plagued by nightmares and in desperate need of cash, Sara (Julia Sarah Stone) joins a sleep study, with little known about it. As the experiment gets underway, she notices her dreams getting more frightening, as they begin to have a physical effect on her as well.
Written and directed by Anthony Scott Burns, Come True is a slow-burn science fiction story that explores some terrifying depths of dreams. With haunting visuals and striking cinematography, the film stands out for its impressive style. While I did find it to build up a little too slowly, for the most part, the final act takes an unexpected and horrifying turn.
Where to Watch: Hulu
THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR (2020)
On their way home, best friends Kevin (Ezra Dewey) and Bobby (Lonnie Chavis) are kidnapped by a stranger. While Kevin’s brought inside the captors’ house, Bobby awakes in the trunk of a car. After escaping, he sneaks inside the home and attempts to go unnoticed as he tries desperately to rescue his dear friend.
The Boy Behind the Door takes viewers on such a tense ride that continues to deliver shocking twists throughout, even within the first act. Written and directed by David Charbonier and Justin Powell (the filmmakers behind The Djinn), the film is an exhilarating experience that subverts expectations and only adds to the suspense as it veers further. With fantastic pacing, compassionate performances, and a nice The Shining reference tossed in, it’s another knock-out from the up-and-coming horror duo.
Where to Watch: Shudder
THE EMPTY MAN (2020)
A former detective (James Badge Dale) begins to investigate the disappearance of his friend’s daughter. As he digs deeper into her life and friendships, he discovers an urban legend of “The Empty Man” and perhaps ties to a cult. Becoming consumed by the case—and suffering from visions—he’ll discover he’s more connected to the mystery than he thought.
The beauty of The Empty Man really lies within the first 20-minutes. It captures your attention instantly, containing subtle and genuinely creepy moments. But that’s just the opening sequence. Once over, it feels disconnected from the rest of the film, which morphs into a mediocre, and sometimes predictable, early 2000s horror. While there’s a lovely Lovecraftian twist at a point, I couldn’t help but feel a little bored by the overall direction it took.
Where to Watch: HBO Max
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