On the night of an astronomical anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality bending events. Part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama, COHERENCE is a tightly focused, intimately shot film that quickly ratchets up with tension and mystery.
Directed by: James Ward Byrkit
. Starring: Emily Baldoni
, Maury Sterling
, Nicholas Brendon
, Lorene Scafaria
, Elizabeth Gracen
, Hugo Armstrong
, Alex Manugian
, Lauren Maher
, Aqueela Zoll
, Carrie Patterson
, Kelly Donovan
, Alexis Boozer Sterling
, Mark Ballou
. Music by: Kristin Øhrn Dyrud
I enjoyed watching this and I highly recommend it to others. In terms of 'weirdness', I would compare Coherence with Triangle (2009), another fantastic time-bending, paradox-type film. I don't mind low budget films because they often surprise you with interesting concepts and thought-provoking scripts which big budget films lack these days. Take Interstellar (2014) for example; an epic film with a huge budget yet its script doesn't come close to being as engaging as Coherence.
The story takes place during a dinner party across an evening while a comet passes overhead. We get a bit of foreshadowing when "Em" describes some spooky things that happened the last time a comet passed over the Earth so we're given an idea of how interesting things are going to get. This is possibly to avoid people getting bored as for the first 20 minutes or so, we are essentially just watching a regular dinner party that any one of us could have attended. This includes bits of interesting conversations and some nice cut aways and then finally, just as things start to meander, the weirdness begins.
There were only two plot developments that I didn't like (plus the ending). The first one happened fairly early on in the film: I didn't like the justification given for leaving the house. It was never explained, it didn't make sense and was never mentioned again or used later in the film i.e. it was just a throw-away, convenient plot point but it was quite a small development so it didn't affect my enjoyment; it was just a bit lazy. The second would potentially be a spoiler so I have to be vague: The film meandered a bit too much before the next twist kicked in and I would have preferred that it happened much sooner and that everybody came to the same conclusion about what needed to be done. That would have created a much more interesting third act and would have generated larger audience investment in the characters, as we'd be interested in seeing who would make it and who wouldn't. Related to this, I didn't understand why Em ultimately made the decision that she did. What prompted this? I can think of something she could have overheard that would have motivated her (related to being a ballerina), but as it stands, unless I missed something, her decision was quite random and could have put her in a worse situation than before.
Finally, I did not like the ending at all. The film had done a good job up until then of not becoming convoluted but suddenly, events became a bit messy and I did not like the very final scene. I don't understand how it is possible for a film to have a bad ending. Did the story writers not show their work to anyone? I can think of a handful of better endings just off the top of my head. Luckily the ending happens very quickly, so you don't really have time to be annoyed by it or let it ruin the overall experience so although I usually don't recommend films with bad endings, I can still recommend Coherence based on its overall merits.
Those are my main gripes with the film. I thought that with a few tweaks this could have been really great but as the film is extremely enjoyable, I want to end on a positive note: I loved the ideas presented, the originality and the fact that we're watching normal people doing normal things as opposed to perfectly preened and never-ageing film stars. It's always more interesting to watch. I absolutely loved "Mike's" reaction to the situation (that would definitely be me because I've seen far too many films!) and everybody's acting was great. Much like Time Lapse (2014), Coherence gets more and more interesting with every scene which is another bonus.
I think everybody involved should be very proud. I hovered between 6 and 7 because overall, the film easily deserves a 7 but the ending really did let it down. I'd give it 6.7 if I could so I've rounded up to 710.
Review by MovieSonic from the Internet Movie Database.