Movie Review – Coherence (2013)

Movie Review – Coherence (2013)


Martin Adil-Smith

Coherence is a film that makes you think. It makes you consider not just the subject, but also your reaction to it.

There is no denying that the first ten minutes of this movie is weak. And not just mildly annoying, but roll-you-eyes and whispering “really?” kind of weak. I would even go as far to say that they are the epitome of why writer-directors should be banned.

However, if you can get through the opening sequence, what follows is a tour-de-force, not just of tense story-telling, but nuanced acting and exceptional direction.

The premise is that a passing comet causes parallel Earth’s to merge to a single focal point as eight friends are having dinner. The power goes out, and the various comings and goings between seemingly identical houses cause us to question not just the nature of reality, but also that of identity and memory as our heroes struggle to find the world that they belong in.

The drama is led by Emily (Emily Baldoni) who is rueing not accepting an understudy role which, in hindsight, would have launched her career, and is ably supported by her husband Kevin (Maury Sterling) and an excellent turn from Nicholas Brendon as the alcoholic/recovering Mike.

The action and reaction by these three are exceptional and greatly helps drive the movie towards its taught conclusion.

The use of light and shadow, as well as some interesting props (watch out for the glow sticks), are used to great effect, and what begins as a wholly anaemic affair rapidly ascends to become a great brain teasing drama filled with moments of genuine psychological horror.

Writer-director James Ward Byrkit has stated that he wanted to make a movie where “the living room feels bigger than just a living room”, and in that he has excelled.

Ultimately, this movie is not going to be for everyone, but if you can get past the clunky opening you are in for a treat, and a third act that is amongst cinema’s finest.

Final verdict: 5/6