Do you love watching psychologically distorted movies that make you read Reddit theories about their endings late at night? I have a question.
Stop scrolling endlessly on the streaming service you’ve been staring at, check out Amazon Prime and watch 2013’s low-budget sci-fi movie Coherence ASAP – it’s free for subscribers right now. I know. I just saw it … for the fourth time.
The original premise of coherence is quite simple. A couple of friends meet for a dinner party the same evening that a mysterious comet is scheduled to fly overhead. It begins, as many indie films do, with a troubled love story, tensions between exes and witty teasing.
Then the power goes out. It’s going to be weird. Akt to.
Unexplained events follow while the ensemble of characters struggle to restore power. Nothing is as it seemed. Some begin to doubt where they are, others are more preoccupied with WHO they are. This is not a movie about longtime friends’ small talk. It is a tale of them coming face to face with the frightening truth of their reality.
If I share more, I would risk massive spoilers about the shocking revelations that were revealed during the film. However, I can assure you that the confusion on the screen is strong enough to force you to question your own reason.
I’m just exaggerating a bit.
The next hour overflows with plot twists that can rival those of 2010’s Shutter Island. The film also expertly alludes to scientific – and rather philosophical – concepts that have probably crossed the minds of the late Stephen Hawking.
Coherence ties together the social, personal, and existential consequences that would arise from a complex theory of space and time with a heart-pounding mystery. Dotted with red herring, Easter eggs and a few haze, Coherence is without a doubt one of the most mind-numbing sci-fi movies I have ever seen.
And believe me, I’ve gone down several sci-fi IMDB lists, and have diligently watched them in order.
Maybe I can sell you that Coherence, which sometimes borders on horror, was made with a meager budget of only $ 50,000 and shot over just five days. In context, Alfonso Cuarón’s 2013 film, Gravity, was made with $ 100 million.
I have recently binge-watched low-budget sci-fi movies because I have found that what these movies lack in cinema, they overcompensate for in history. Shoutout to Operation Avalanche (2016), Another Earth (2011) and Primer (2004).
Coherence, however, was the film that started my journey.
Interstellar may have offered the striking image of a giant, iconic wave that almost obliterates the main characters to the tune of Hans Zimmer. The Martian has probably stolen your heart with his amazing depiction of a dry Mars in the middle of a blanket of fog. And Arrival could have been the first time you cried over a shadowy alien making an ink-like sign language.
But Coherence elegantly tells the story of a group of friends struggling with reality and navigating the terrifying turns that reality can take – without the help of CGI, from just one place and only with the sound of the actors’ voices.
Director James Ward Byrkit even decided to give up a script for the silent experimental film. “Every day, instead of getting a script, the actors were given a page of notes for their individual character, whether it was a background story or information about their motivations,” he told IndieWire.
Because the actors were left in the dark about how the story unfolds, any stress and confusion in their performances is authentic. The chaotic disorder of the film was actually happens during the filming of the movie.
Coherence will keep you guessing along with the actors, evoking audible gasps and making you feel a bit like a sci-fi spy. Hours after the credits roll, you may well experience chills when previously overlooked tracks and nuances slowly wash over you.
In fact, I just got goosebumps thinking about one scene. You know which one.
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