Coherence (2013): Simple but unsettling cerebral sci-fi

Film

James-Ward-Byrkit_web1

Written and directed by: James Ward Byrkit 

Starring: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon

Coherence emerged on UK Netflix last week with little fanfare, but an intriguing premise; “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, tension ratchets up as numerous complex mysteries unfold.”

The film is simply shot, but beautifully put together, with some great writing and performances, which drive this unusually mind-bending drama forward. Indeed so simple is it’s construction it could just as easily be performed on stage, but that is undoubtedly it’s major strength.

The 8 assembled guests find themselves exploring their own characters while the unforeseen events unfold, which leads to a level of tension normally reserved for the horror genre. I found myself jumping at knocks on the door, and feeling distinctly un-nerved by the whole set-up.

It’s an intimate film with a solid concept that has been really well executed, reminiscent of Primer and Time Crimes in it’s high concept, low budget execution. Well worth an hour and a half of your, or anyone’s, time.

8 out of 10

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