@Garryarnot gets freaked out by Coherence and freaks out again with it’s release on DVD this week
The horror genre is full of cliché and expectation, which means it is becoming increasingly tough to achieve originality when making a film of this ilk. ‘Stay away from the door’ and ‘we should stay together’ have become part of the scary movies culture but low-budget sci-fi chiller ‘Coherence’, the first feature from director James Ward Byrkit, cleverly takes the tired formula and refreshes it. The film largely takes place within an intimate house where a dinner party is being held, on the night that a comet is due to pass through our skies. When signals fail, phone screens shatter at random and the power goes out across the neighbourhood, the group of friends realise that all it not as it should be.
Shot using the shaky-cam method, a paranormal activity documentary vibe is established early on. As characters are introduced, they are zoomed in upon and interrogated with an array of extreme close ups. Abrupt cuts are used, stopping at black a little longer than we are used to. These techniques help to quickly create an unnerving atmosphere that refuses to lift throughout.
As the strange events escalate into chaos, the fracturing relationships between the supposed close-knit gang are explored, and put to the test. The reality of what we are witnessing becomes unclear as the intricacies of the narrative go into overdrive, while the director playfully subverts our preconceptions, though the score and dialogue do venture into rather familiar territory.