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Review - Coherence

By midlandsmovies, Jul 9 2014 09:00AM

Coherence (2014) Dir. James Ward Byrkit

Written and directed by James Ward Byrkit this is an 89 minute thrilling sci-fi mystery set at a suburban USA dinner party that pulls at the audience’s emotions and brainstems equally. The film sets up an 8-person meal and we are introduced to each of the characters as they arrive for dinner with Byrkit utilising handheld camera for a realistic style. After discussion of a passing comet, the electric goes off and only one other house in the neighbourhood has their lights on so some of the group decide to check it out. To say too much would be to spoil the surprise but with a similar tone to the low budget film Primer (2004) as well as the confusing and twisting narrative of Triangle (2009), Byrkit has used improvisational techniques to heighten the tension and I thought it was great to see people discuss the actual ramifications and consequences of their actions for once.

Brilliantly constructed with consistent characters who engage in plausible actions, the film demands a second viewing in order to fully appreciate the chilling doppelgangers that populate the looping plot. A cerebral but engaging film, Coherence plays with dual characters and themes whilst a feisty Emily Foxler holds her own against Buffy star Nicholas Brendon. He in fact parodies his TV-starring credentials yet to pick out just one actor would do a disservice to the whole ensemble cast who help establish a credible backdrop for the fantastical elements. The film is an indie highlight showing how a great idea done well with a low budget can compete with more expensive fare and it does so with an inspired and audacious concept that is well executed. 7.5/10 Midlands Movies Mike

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