Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Paul Leyden
Cast: Nathan Keyes, Matt Passmore, Katie Walder
A strange effort, no doubt, Come Back to Me gets off to a rocky start. A very rocky start. In fact the first 45 minutes are quite flat and fail to develop characters to care for. There’s just very little, if any pulse present. As the hour mark approached I grew close to completely abandoning the pic. And then, quite suddenly, things got awfully interesting, and before I knew it I was witnessing one damn amazing turnaround.
Initially we’re led to believe Come Back to Me is a standard psycho home invasion kind of story. Sarah and Josh are a fairly young couple living a stable life. Dale’s the mysterious new neighbor. Okay, he’s more than mysterious, he’s unbelievably awkward and downright creepy. Worse yet, he’s taken an immediate liking to Sarah, who’s home alone quite a bit while Josh is in town working. Dale’s secrets begin to surface just as we realize that someone is breaking into Sarah’s home at night. How better for Sarah to quell her own growing suspisions than to set up cameras throughout the home. Sarah wants to know what the hell is going on in her house at night while she sleeps. But she’s not going to like what the recordings reveal.
There’s a major, major twist to the story that not only saves the film, it totally and completely stuns. It’s one of the better spins I’ve seen in recent memory, which isn’t an outright shock given the fact that the story is based on a novel written by the immensely talented Wrath James White. I can’t bring myself to ruin the film and disclose the major revelation, but I can guarantee you it’s a winner. In fact, there are actually two twists in store for viewers, the second being a staggering turn of events that ensures the story’s protagonists won’t be afforded pleasant closure.
Director Paul Leyden has half a hit on his hands. He’s got a strong group of performers in front of the camera as well. Matt Passmore, Katie Walder and Nathan Keyes – the focal trio – are all quite impressive. The bit players aren’t too shabby, either. There are no hokey special effects to stomach and once the story really gets rolling it never stops. The insanity does not relent in any way during the final 30-40 minutes. The finale is so damn good that it almost breaks my heart knowing how many problems are presented in the earlier portions of the flick.
Whether Come Back to Me is perfect or not, I respect the hell out of the film. There’s a lot of effort here, and the final product, when all is said and done, left me feeling pretty rewarded. I’d love to have seen some tweaks early, but it’s obviously a bit late for that. The film is still strong enough to prove Leyden is a filmmaker to watch out for. His credits are still limited, but if he’s able to make a picture this strong after having shot just one short and a handful of television episode, he’s got immense promise. I’ll definitely support the man in his future endeavors.