Coherence is defined as the integration of several diverse elements, properties, or values, and that’s exactly what the film Coherence is. One night, a group of adults gather for a dinner party that appears to be pretty boring, as some adults can be; the conversation leads to ketamine and comets—a comet is supposed to soaring the skies that night—and a cracked cell phone screen is blamed on a bizarre lunar event.
From there, thankfully, things get weird and more cell phones crack. The Internet and phone lines go down and the lights go out. Down the street—and the impending rabbit hole—the friends discover that a lone house has power. Off to go investigate and armed with glow-sticks, some of them find that things are not what they seem, and return with a toolbox containing numbered photos of each person. As the group tries to figure out what this means, how these photos were taken, and why they’re numbered, the plot twists and it appears that an alternate reality—or two, or three—has crossed over with the current one. Yes, we see different colors of glow-sticks to represent each reality.
What would you do if you found another one of yourself lurking around—and that the other version of you was the person you were supposed to have been before everything went bad? The money; the man; the career? How far would you go to achieve that reality?
Reminiscent of a stage play, or even Hitchcock’s Rope, due to its singular location, Coherence relies solely on its ensemble cast to relay the story. While at times, the plot has convenient set pieces that explain advanced physics—in this case, a book that delivers a tidy wrap up of quantum mechanics—the viewer must decide if this is a bridge too far in terms of suspending reality. However contrived in places, this film is a tepid drama that wrenches itself into an existential thriller worth watching. The micro-budget indie builds on the dread factor as extreme steps are taken by some of the characters; as a result the film has garnered awards on the festival circuit and deserves a bigger audience.
Coherence was written and directed by James Ward Byrkit and hits assorted theaters on Friday, June 20th.