Directed by Paul Leyden
Come Back to Me is a movie reviewer’s worst nightmare. Not because the movie is bad. Not at all. It’s quite good. But its main strengths are the secrets that are slowly unveiled to the viewer. So the trick is to convey what an enjoyable movie this is without discussing the things that make it so good. We’ll give it a shot.
Come Back to Me is based on the book The Resurrectionist by Wrath James White, and the story is unique and entertaining. In it we meet young couple Sarah and Josh (Walder and Passmore) as well as their extra-creepy new neighbor, Dale.
When Dale moves in, Sarah starts having strange experiences, night terrors, and all sorts of other unexplainable things. Is she stressed? Is she going crazy? As Come Back to Me rolls on, you slowly start to get small pieces of the story. Director Leyden (who also wrote the screenplay) does an excellent job of bringing the audience up-to-speed on what is happening nice and slowly, building good suspense and intrigue.
Sarah’s mental state and her strained relationship with Josh take center stage for the beginning of the film, but Dale continues to become a larger factor in their lives, and audiences can only sit and theorize as to just what the heck he’s up to. All we know for sure is he saw his mother murdered at the hands of her abusive husband when Dale was younger, and he’s extremely awkward. But there’s something else about him… something unsettling that draws your interest. Like driving past the scene of an accident, you just can’t look away from Dale. Too much is wrong with him, and you don’t want to miss anything.
Suffice to say Come Back to Me is a movie that will have you checking the locks and focusing on those bumps you hear in the night. It’s unsettling and reminiscent of Jaume Balagueró’s excellent thriller Sleep Tight. Although this one has a darker element to it.
As you watch the movie and learn all the secrets, you will certainly reflect back on what you have seen and realize that Leyden was leaving you clues all along as to just what is happening in Come Back to Me, making a rewatch not only enjoyable but almost mandatory to truly appreciate it. You’ll look back and think, “How could I have missed that when they put it right out in front of me?” But that’s the beauty of Leyden’s work. He gives you just enough to pique your interest but never too much. He slowly unravels the story and then hits you with a fantastic climax that unveils everything, and then he even gives you one more thrill with the final scene. Nicely done.
The main cast is great. Walder is excellent as Sarah with her demonstrative face illustrating every emotion, and Keyes’ Dale will make your skin crawl. Passmore proves to be equally adept as he delivers Josh to the audience amid a swirl of personal struggles and a relationship that seems to be falling apart. And not enough can be said about Maura West. Although her role is somewhat smaller than the others, it’s a hugely important part, and she takes it on with incredible intensity. From the first moment when she startles you to the end when she puts the final puzzle pieces in place for you, West is dynamite!
Definitely one to take a look at, Come Back to Me is a very entertaining story with some great performances and a director who deftly puts it all together. You may find yourself growing a bit weary of the repetitive nature of things you see toward the middle, but when the secrets are revealed, everything will make perfect sense. Trust me. Come Back to Me is certainly worth a look.