Coherence Review

“… like a really stupid person wrote a really smart movie.”

So yesterday I did something stupid and deleted my list of all of the movies that I intended to watch. By some twisted act of God all movies on this list were deleted; all except for one. Something in the universe wanted me to watch Coherence last night, and I am oh so glad that I did. Coherence is a movie that follows a bunch of white people having a dinner party while at the same time Miller’s comet is passing over earth. When the power mysteriously goes out putting an abrupt stop to all of the awkward conversations that were taking place, the group decides to venture out of the house and explore the one house in the neighbourhood that still has power.

The beginning of Coherence is interesting because it simultaneously gives you perfect idea of what the rest of the movie holds, and at the same time is the worst representation for what is about to happen. It’s kind of like if you had never tried a chocolate bar before, so I gave you a milky way that expired in 1998. It tastes like shit, but it does give you an idea as to what you’re in for when you eat chocolate bars. This portion of the movie follows the dinner party that takes place in Coherence, and let me tell you the filmmaker absolutely nailed the general ‘insufferable dinner part’ vibe. If I had been a character in this movie, I would have killed myself long before the power had gone out because dealing with these stuck up cunts is a fate worse than death. So this is the “shit” part of my analogy, but what is the good representation? That’s simple, I think this part of the movie shows how brilliant the writing in Coherence is. It takes skill to create a dinner party atmosphere that is so realistic and so dull, and characters that also exhibit those traits. Everything about Coherence feels so real, and it’s also pretty entertaining. The quips that the characters say to one another are pretty much just them roasting each other which allows for a sense of relief because you understand that it’s not just you who finds these characters unbearable. This part of the movie also prepares you for the absolute fucking terrible camerawork that is showcased throughout the film. I know that Coherence only had a budget of $50,000 but couldn’t they at least afford a decent camera? As it stands it seems like Coherence was filmed on one of the broken iPhones that the characters have. This image quality becomes hyper-apparent when the group goes outside and you get to experience the night sky the way God intended: with terrible digital noise covering the entire screen. But it’s not all bad because the camera is shaking so much that the grain all but disappears; and if you can still see it the seemingly random zooms and pans will surely distract you from it. Coherence is a movie that seems like it intended to be a found-footage film, but at the last second they forgot to introduce the camera guy or give him any lines. One thing the beginning of this film introduces is very real intensity. I was laughing my ass off at these insufferable characters and shitty camerawork, but when the plot was introduced Coherence proved that it was a force to be reckoned with in the thrills department. I could feel my heart start to race involuntarily and my laughs changed from hearty to almost forced. Coherence had wrapped its fingers around me, and it refused to let go.

This feeling continued throughout the film but never again to that extent. See Coherence is a movie with a twist, but don’t worry about me spoiling it and I’ll tell you why: I literally can’t. Not only do I still not understand what I saw when watching Coherence, but the film doesn’t just consist of one twist instead introducing numerous twists until you are as confused as you’ve ever been in your life. So while the film tried to maintain this level of intensity throughout, for me it was replaced with a sense of confusion. Every time I would think I got it, the film would throw yet another twist at me until I just decided to give up and let the movie take me on a roller coaster of emotions. One thing I will say is that Coherence did manage to stay entertaining throughout. Whether intentional or not, I found myself continuously laughing at this movie. The characters continued to throw insults every which way but their own and the decisions that were being made were just so fucking stupid. Of course this isn’t really a dig seeing as this made the characters more realistic, but everything was just so outlandish that I couldn’t help but laugh. With all of these twists and character decisions I was left wondering if Coherence was brilliant or nonsensical. The best way for me to describe Coherence is by saying that it’s like a really stupid person wrote a really smart movie. The really interesting ideas are there, but the small details are really the Achilles’ heel of this film. I also wasn’t a fan of the shitty soundtrack in the film. Not only were the songs out of place, but they were about as terrible as you could get. It was like the filmmaker went to a royalty free music website, typed in “folk”, and picked the first eight songs. So as you can see the movie had its flaws, but I’m not lying when I say that I was thoroughly entertained while watching it.

Overall I’m not sure if I liked Coherence or not. I found the characters to be insufferable, the camerawork to be infuriating, and the plot to be rather incoherent with the seemingly endless plot twists. That being said I was entertained. Whether intentionally or not Coherence is movie that kept a smile on my face throughout, and that’s all that matters in this instance.

I give Coherence an A

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