Take a Drink: for, uggh, Laurie
Take a Drink: whenever Hugh mentions his physicist brother
Take a Drink: for “Skype” or “Roswell”
Take a Drink: whenever somebody leaves the house
Take a Drink: whenever Beth says something New-Agey
Do a Shot: when you jump
Special Writer/Director James Ward Byrkit Custom-Made Drinking Rule!
Take a Drink: anytime someone says or holds a “glowstick”.
By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
The Schrodinger’s Cat experiment has long served as a linchpin for all sorts of trippy nonsense. The Prestige, Dirk Gently, Futurama, and Portal have all name-dropped it, making it the internet’s like 732nd favorite cat.
Haha, here’s mine.
Does that count as a spoiler then? You tell me, smart guy! Wow, this started off a bit confrontational. Let’s try again. Coherence is about a dinner party that starts to go off the rails when strange things start to happen, possibly related to the comet that is currently passing very close to Earth.
Coherence takes a very basic set-up and successfully spins it into something incredibly absorbing and freaky. Director and writer James Ward Byrkit starts simply, setting up a believable cast of characters with its fracture points and personality clashes then slowly ratcheting up the strange occurrences so that you can’t help but get enveloped in the film even if you have a decent idea of what’s coming. And even if you do, the gloriously dark third act will take you on a ride. I really, really want to make a joke about it being a horror-themed It’s a Disaster meets… something else, but that’s probably going to give too much away.
I’ll just leave this Brit Marling picture here.
Byrkit makes the most of a budget that could easily have been in the triple digits, keeping his focus on his actors and using his single setting to ramp up claustrophobia and paranoia. Also instrumental in this is DP Nic Sadler’s shaky, occasionally unfocused handheld camerawork, which never lets you get comfortable. It’s unnerving, almost like a found footage film with no known cameraman.
These people are almost uniformly assholes, but, well… there’s a reason for that. That doesn’t make listening to them squabble and squall and constantly talk over each other any more pleasant to listen to, though. Have yourself a beer.
There’s an undercurrent of New Agey Californication bullshit running through the film, some of it lampooned, some of it bizarrely straight-faced. The script and characters are a little full of themselves, which you’d have to be to utter lines like “We’re always talking about finding ourselves, and now we can literally find ourselves.”
That’s so deep, man!
Coherence is a neat little high concept thriller with a sweet hook. Well worth your time.
Also, make sure to check out Felix’s awesome-as-always interview of writer/director James Ward Byrkit!