Coherence (2014)

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Well, I’m going to be honest, I don’t think I liked this movie. It is definitely a more competent, and complex version of the film +1. That being said, I do think that +1 is the more universally enjoyable film. This movie is being hailed as one of the ‘best science fiction movies in years’ — says the poster, and I’ll admit, my specialty is horror and not sci-fi, so we’ll see how many of you think that maybe I “JUST DIDN’T GET IT BRO”. Also, there’s probably going to be spoilers. Anyways, here’s what IMDB says about ‘Coherence’ :

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, COHERENCE is a tightly focused, intimately shot film that quickly ratchets up with tension and mystery.

So, based on that you might be wondering why the hell I’m reviewing it. Well, because sci-fi and horror do share many similar elements, and I was tricked into believing it might be a bit of a frightening film from the marketing that I saw. The movie sort of feels like a film-student audited some classes on Quantum Physics, or read a couple of Wikipedia pages and went “I totally get this bro” and make this movie. There are a lot of references to Schrodinger’s Cat and the concept of Coherence and then of course, energies, and the effects of comets passing over head and so on. It came off a little bit overblown, but I was able to get past that and get through the movie.

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Another reason I got through this movie was the cast. First off, we had Nicholas Brendon (Xander from Buffy), who was sort of delightful to see in this movie. I also quite enjoyed Emily Baldoni, but her character was a bit unlikable. I also really enjoy the performance from Hugo Armstrong. Overall the cast was pretty likable and enjoyable, even if they seemed to buy into the premise of the movie a little too quickly, which might make more sense if you see the movie. Essentially what I mean is, they basically read one piece of paper and realize that there are different realities existing around them right now, and they are interacting with parallel versions of themselves. I understand that the movie isn’t long, and so things have to kind of move along, but it does just feel a little bit rushed.

The story is simple and yet pretty complex, though that could just be because of the concepts they are dealing with in the movie. In the beginning Baldoni’s character shares some rather frightening ghost stories about what happened hundreds of years ago when a different comet had passed by, which again seemed to set the tone for a ghost story or a bit more eerie a film. Anyways, it does clip along, and it is kind of an interesting story, but as with all movies like this that deal in dimensions, or time travel, things eventually do start to unravel and not make much sense.

The ending for example, seems to go against the rules of the movie. They establish that once the comet passes, the realities should no longer be able to interact with each other. However, when the movie ends (ON A GOD DAMN CLIFFHANGER) there is still an interaction with a different version of one of the characters… I think? Anyways, basically the movie seems to get a bit too big for its britches and it does show after awhile. It’s an interesting concept, with likable enough characters, but almost seemed short.

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It has some pretty interesting elements, and does deliver a pretty satisfying little sci-fi with minimal action and not a pretty simple presentation. I did find the “intimate” style of shooting the movie a bit disorienting, and the characters were constantly speaking over each other, which again was annoying and disorienting.

It’s not the worst little mind-bender, if it sounds like something you’d be interested in. However, it just didn’t really do much for me. Not saying it’s a waste of time, I just won’t likely be revisiting it.

FINAL GRADE: C+

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