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article imageReview: ‘Coherence’ balances its budget with quality Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Sep 20, 2014 in Entertainment
In ‘Coherence’, all logic is thrown out the window as a comet passing overhead causes a strange things to happen during an already somewhat uncomfortable dinner party.
Friendly gatherings can already be stressful experiences for some without any added weirdness. An unexpected guest or revelation can turn the party into an awkward event with little hope of escape. Add a comet with reality-bending properties and you get the social disaster that occurs in Coherence.
On the night of Miller's comet, eight friends gather for a dinner party. The first sign something is amiss is all cell service and Internet stops working. Then the lights go out. Bizarre attempts to investigate outside the house and nonsensical discoveries only contribute to the confusion. But some lecture notes on Schrödinger's cat may hold the answers they need to get through the night.
The expectation of weird is established when the dinner guests' conversation turns to other comets in history and the strange occurrences that accompanied them. But the cause of these past oddities were never uncovered, though the group begins to speculate as their own night takes a turn for the creepy. Investigating the dark with their flashlights and colored glow sticks, they could never anticipate what they'd find in the shadows.
This is a sci-fi narrative with a very interesting premise, which lends itself perfectly to a low budget film. Most of the action occurs within a single house or just outside of it. The camera work is simple and no extraordinary special effects are required. The core cast of eight is all that is needed to tell the story.
The performances are adequate, though not outstanding. Nicholas Brendon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame steps back into the world of the unusual and uses his on-screen fighting experience to his advantage or detriment, depending from which perspective you look at it. Emily Baldoni steers a lot of the narrative as her character is the most knowledgeable about the comets and her marital insecurities is at the centre of several conflicts in the script.
In spite of the fact that the narrative falls apart somewhat in the end, it still manages to build some intrigue into the concluding actions of the characters that is consistent with the rest of the story. In addition, the concept is one that will stimulate conversation afterward and keep the viewer thinking.
Director: James Ward Byrkit
Starring: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling and Nicholas Brendon
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