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Halloween Nights: Coherence, 2013

Garrett Smith Film, Reviews Leave a Comment

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Director: James Ward Byrkit
Writers: James Ward Byrkit
Stars: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon

(minor spoilers ahead)

Pretty sure Coherence was one of the first movies I watched during my “letterboxd years”. It holds up very well and lends itself to repeat viewings—once you know the full scope of this movie it becomes interesting to try and parse what (more specifically who) you’re watching in any given scene.

I met Nicholas Brendon at a comic book convention this year and told him how much I liked Coherene. I wish I had told him how much I liked his performance in it, because I think on this watch I was most impressed with him. He’s doing some really interesting work here as a recovering alcoholic. The reason I bring it up though is because he told me the entire movie is improvised, which if you’ve seen it is both completely believable, and wholly unbelievable. I have no idea how you’d achieve what this movie pulls off without some semblance of structure. Especially since some of the dialogue is actually pointed to be a “tell” of sorts in various scenes.

If you haven’t seen Coherence, it’s on Amazon Prime and well worth your time. One of my favorite examples of someone making what feels like a huge movie movie with an extremely high concept for practically no money at all, and legitimately pulling it off. It’s a very haunting film.

ORIGINAL REVIEW

Coherence made my best of 2014 list on I Like To Movie Movie (we did our list based on when these movies became available for us to see in Philadelphia).

And wow—a small movie with no budget that gets across and explores some really huge ideas. This is the highest concept on the lowest budget I think I’ve ever seen. It’s another 2014 doppelganger movie, and it explores many of the same themes as the others (cheating, choosing a better partner, identity crisis) but it does so as a fun, well paced thriller that is chilling to the core. I really loved Coherence—it takes Schrodinger’s cat and extrapolates it to the nth degree. I had so much fun watching this and it really shows you what you can do with little to no budget. It reminded me of Primer in that way. Great flick.

Score: ★★★★☆

Original Score: ★★★★☆

Find this review, and more of Garrett’s reviews, on Letterboxd.

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Garrett Smith

Comedian of no repute. Co-host of the I Like To Movie Movie podcast and Movie Movie Live! the monthly game show based on the podcast.
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