This one came as an Amazon ‘recommended based on your viewing history’ but you know how those go. I wasn’t interested after reading the synopsis but then in the cast lineup I noticed a boomerang from 90’s TV – Nicolas Brendan, who you might remember as Xander from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Curiosity caused me to stream.
Its not the first time the sci-fi genre has approached the concept of parallel universes, however Coherence is the first I’ve seen mentioning Schroeder’s Cat. And then they made a joke about it – ‘Yes, I’ve heard of Schroeder’s Cat, I’m allergic.’ There isn’t any reason for you to know Schroeder’s Cat unless you’re a physics nerd but its the concept that parallel universes exist only they are not coherent; the universes do not interact and you, the viewer, can only discern one.
If you can muscle past the reflex to laugh out loud at the premise, then you might enjoy watching the group of 8 friends gathered for an innocuous dinner party start to unravel with stranger and stranger occurrences. The occurrences are blamed on some phenomenon associated with a comet passing close to Earth, however, they all slowly come to terms that their dinner for 8 is only one of many all happening simultaneously.
Its a race to see whether you, the viewer, can figure out whats happening to the friends before they do. There are plenty of clues and all of them stem from the film’s title. In this case, the universes are coherent, people from one universe start to interact with the others. Paranoia, fear and the desire to get back to the correct universe starts the action, which has some surprising results in the end.
This is a very low budget film done in handheld video format which has the effect of making you, the viewer, a stealthy participant in the evening’s activities. Its a little more controlled and avoids the the jarring, Dramamine-popping side-effect found in other handheld video features. Most of dialogue was ad-libbed and the acting is quite good. Although no one cast member stands out, the ensemble creates a convincing atmosphere of mystery, tension and, at times, dread.
If you’re looking for a good 90-minute sci-fi, parallel universe puzzle or you’re just a physics nerd prone to ripping apart the oddly applied principles of quantum physics as portrayed in film, Coherence is a good watch.