Thought-provoking science fiction is a tough genre to get right, apparently, so it’s always an immense joy to find a film that manages to both entertain and intrigue with a mind-bending premise. The majors occasionally get it right, but often it’s the smaller budgeted films that seem to nail it best.
Case in point is the new film Coherence from writer/director James Ward Byrkit. It’s the kind of movie that benefits from viewers knowing as little as possible going in, so in lieu of a traditional plot synopsis I give you only the following “official” description.
On the night of an astrological 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.”
Check out the new trailer for Coherence below and then look for the film itself when it hits theaters and VOD on June 20th.
The film played at last year’s Fantastic Fest to much acclaim, including some from our own Michael Treveloni (his review) who called it an “excellent, comprehensible mess.” He means “mess” in a good way though, I promise. He’s spot on too, and I’d add that it’s the kind of film that Rod Serling would have loved as it would fit in wonderfully with the best episodes of his TV shows.
Think of it as a less humorous and more mysterious take on the recent and also excellent It’s a Disaster (also released by Oscilloscope Laboratories) in its fantastic ability to blend the normal with the abnormal without neutering either half. The film presents a group of friends whose relationships and dramas feel legitimate and believable, and that groundwork makes the ensuing mayhem that much more effective and affecting.
The cast is strong throughout and for the most part probably unrecognizable. Nicholas Brendon will be familiar to Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans as Maury Sterling will be to Homeland viewers, but most of the others will probably be new to you. Don’t let the lack of name stars deter you from giving it a chance though. Big Hollywood may be able to deliver larger-scale thrills, but this is a film that delivers more memorable ones.
Coherence opens on VOD and in limited theatrical release on June 20th, 2014.