There is an art to creating realistic tension and fear in the world of filmmaking.
There is an art to creating realistic tension and fear in the world of filmmaking. Not that "something jumped out the closet" fear but that slowly growing panic that builds in the face of the unknown. When you achieve that you can captivate an audience from start to finish. Coherence does a pretty darn good job of keeping your breathing short and your muscles taught. You don't even realize you are nervous until you feel your palms sweating.
Four couples have gathered for a dinner party on the night that a comet passes overhead. There is nothing uncommon about them and they could be anyone you know. When odd things start happening with the power, strange objects appearing, and reality bending moments the fear begins to take over and human nature gets brutal. Like the characters in the movie your hope is that a cruel joke is being played on them. In the vein of classic Twilight Zone episodes or a Stephen King novel the story keeps you in its grip as you deal with twists and turns.
The actors are believable and you get the feeling that they truly are freaking out. It is almost like they were put in a house with a partial script and as the events play out they are experiencing them fresh. At the same time there is none of the awkward improve that a lot of films like this have. Also even as seasoned professionals they are not recognizable enough to take you out of the moment. Again, they could live next door and you have the opportunity to peak in the window and watch the drama.
Keep in mind that this is a sci-fi flick and you have to enjoy that genre. There are lots of questions when watching. You wonder if it has to do with split dimensions, extrasensory perception, or just too much wine. The couples have many discussions about the universe, quantum physics, and how two worlds could exist. If these cerebral conversations leave you shaking your head you might get frustrated. Sci Fi fans who like a mental workout will enjoy it for sure.
Coherence is UNRATED but intended for mature audiences. The subject matter and strong language is certainly not for young viewers. The drama and tension could be freaky too for the wrong watcher. This is a well written (minus a few little hiccups) taught thriller. It is filmed in tight quarters which adds to the tension. Fast edits and perfect camera work elevate this into a top notch must see and proves you don't need a ton of special effects and a ginormous budget to achieve results.