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Review: Robbie Barnes’ “Dream Come True”

What a better way to celebrate Women in Horror Month than with a new short film from Robbie Barnes. The incredible director, who’s last film – Beyond Repair – ended up on my “best of 2017” list, takes a more adventurous route with the 24 minute mini-movie Dream Come True. The project originated as a ten minute stage-play written by Greg Vovos before being adapted into a fantasy drama by Barnes. Shot under Perfect Holiday Productions, Dream Come True follows a young couple, Jack and Sarah, as they embark on a journey through an ever-changing dream-scape in hopes of finding their perfect happy ending. However, perils and pitfalls await them in this trial, and the odds of riding off into the sunset together is quickly leaving their favor. Kinsley Funari, Cody Kilpatrick Steele, Andrew Narten, George Tutie, Matthew Vovos, Sophia Vovos and Ember Burns star in Dream Come True; coming to a film festival near you very soon.

Dream Come True is a whimsical fairy-tale that seems kin to the work of Tim Burton. It’s happy and fun and relate-able, but there’s a slight darkness that always nips at its edges. Although there’s no colorful creatures in director/producer Robbie Barnes’ latest picture, the fact that the characters are existing in some sort of magical dream-world is enough to firmly put Dream Come True in the fantasy genre. It’s also strange and dramatic, and it transitions into horror in the final act. It’s… complicated yet enchanting in a really unique and beautiful way. Speaking of “beautiful,” whoever did the location scouting for this short film deserves a million accolades. Every location, from the snow-covered woods to the abandoned mansion, added to the atmosphere that Barnes and cinematographer Malachi Pulte were working so hard to create. I couldn’t help but to be reminded of 1993’s The Secret Garden.

Dream Come True is currently in the film festival circuit and it’s already an official selection in four events. The short film opens the box of “The Dream Gate,” where characters can jump to any reality they want – though some places could be nightmares more than paradise. This, of course, leads the way for further installments with this idea, and I’d be more than happy with that. It’s original and cohesive, and a true showcase of what talented and daring minds can accomplish if they work together. In a world where everything’s been done before and every fairy-tale has a happy ending, Dream Come True needs to exist and thrive. Classic villains – dark figures and reality itself – haunt the two love-birds, and relate-able themes of lost love and yearning for happiness move the audience. When you throw in the terrific performances from Kinsley Funari and Cody Kilpatrick Steele, Dream Come True becomes a visually stunning, sense pleasing hit that fantasy audiences will adore. Final Score: 8 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)