Monday, September 30, 2019

Coherence (2013)

Emily (Emily Baldoni) is heading off to a dinner party on the night a strange comet swoops very close to earth. On her way to the party her phone’s screen shatters. Upon arriving at the party she finds that several other guests had a similar experience. They start talking about other events that occurred when comets got too close to earth, including a strange instance where a woman insisted that the man in her house was not her husband… because she killed her husband the night before.

Suddenly the power goes out, and while the group is gathering candles and glow sticks, they notice another house down the street has power. They send a couple of guests to head down to that house to see if their phone works. That is when things get really strange. They find a bizarre note on their door. Other people seem to be moving around outside the house. And eventually a box full of cryptic clues is discovered. As the night progresses people start to behave strangely and Emily wonders if she is losing her mind or reality is losing Coherence.

Good Points:
  • Presents an intriguing mystery that does not give its secrets easily
  • Some excellent performances by the cast keep you guessing
  • Creates an eerie and uncanny feeling

Bad Points:
  • Some of the characters are annoying (on purpose)
  • It takes some time to really get rolling
  • The camera work and editing are often distracting


What a neat surprise this turned out to be. The film was a bit slow to start off, and some of the party guests were a bit on the insufferable side. But once the mystery kicked in, I was invested. Baldoni gives a great performance as she tries to navigate the oddities around her. Also kudos to Nicholas Brendon for poking fun at himself and providing an intense performance. The film would be a hidden gem if it weren’t for the camera work and editing. Because the movie is dialogue heavy, the camera work is constantly shifting focus, moving and cutting in strange ways to keep things interesting. Instead I was annoyed and distracted by it. I really wished they stopped trying to spice things up. But if you can look past that, you’ll find an engaging low budget thriller with a neat sci-fi angle… or is it?

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals:  4
Sound: 3
Acting:  4
Script:  4
Music: 3
Direction: 3
Entertainment: 4
Total:  4

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  1. I liked this microbudget indie, too, once again demonstrating that the budget of a movie is unrelated to how watchable it is. The actors deserve much of the credit for this since there was just the barest bones of a script and the dialogue was largely impromptu. I like the in-house joke (also a portent in the context of the movie) when Nicolas Brendan, playing an out-of-work actor, says he was on “Roswell.” Nicholas, of course, was in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Xander), but a few actors appeared on both of the contemporaneous shows (e.g. Julie Benz and Jason Behr), and a chance casting decision easily could have landed someone on just one instead of the other.

    1. Yeah I laughed pretty hard when he mentioned "Roswell" as the show he was on. The main actress was in a very silly "horror" film called "Grizzly Peak" where she played a busty airhead named Bebe. She was one of the bright spots of that movie. So it was really cool to see her playing a more nuanced and interesting character. She did a fine job in this one.