Writer: James Ward Byrkit (screenplay & story), Alex Manugian (story)
Director: James Ward Byrkit
Cast: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling Nicholas Brendon
IMDb synopsis: Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gather for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead.
What it actually is: AWESOME.
Coherence is the type of movie that hurt my brain but in a good way. It is a seriously trippy independent film that kept me guessing throughout.
The ensemble cast, including Buffy The Vampire Slayer alum, Nicholas Brendon, as Mike, a former actor of a hugely popular teen television drama (wink, nod), does a fine job with the script, especially considering the first 15 minutes or so is just small talk around the dinner table. I had no problem buying the eight actors as old friends.
The usual group dramas develop as the night progresses, including secrets revealed and old flame flare-ups. Emily Baldoni is Em. Em is the closest thing Coherence gets to a protagonist and that works for this film. Em is a bit of basket case. She made a decision in the past that has changed the course of her life and not for the better. One member of the group heartlessly shows up with the shameless ex-girlfriend of her current boyfriend. Beth (Elizabeth Gracen) offers her a nip ketamine to relax her nerves because it just isn’t a party until the ketamine is cracked open!
The dinner party takes place the same night Earth is having a close encounter with a passing comet. Theories are bounced around the table about what effect the comet might have on them. The last time an anomaly like this happened it was over Finland and weird shit happened. Before long cell phone screens shatter. The lights go out. The whole neighborhood goes dark.
Except for that one house just up the block...
Question: If you could undo all the bad decisions you’ve made and change all the things you dislike about your life and still be you, would you do it?
Verdict: Great Cinema. Coherence is the indie film I wish I’d made.