Thursday, 5 May 2016

Coherence (4 Stars)

The married couple Mike and Lee invite three other couples to their house for a dinner party. Shortly after everyone arrives the lights go out. They suspect that the reason is electrical interference from a comet that's flying overhead, close to the Earth. After only a few minutes the power returns, but there's still no phone or Internet connection. They look out and see that all the other houses in their street are still dark, apart from one house in the distance. Two of the men go to the house to ask for help, but they come back with a confusing story that the house looks identical to Mike's house. They've brought back a box from the other house. When they open it they find photos of the eight people in the house with numbers written on the back.

Repeated excursions to the other house are made, and sounds outside make it clear that people from the other house are also coming to them, but not entering. When they go out as a group they see other people identical to themselves, so they retreat in fear. Back in the house, they suspect that there's a parallel universe in which everything is identical, apart from one random element that differs because of a decision made. The comet's influence has opened a path between the two realities. But how do they know that there's only one other universe? They begin to think that there's a large number of realities linked by the road outside their house, all very similar, but differing in subtle aspects.

This film has been compared with "Interstellar", which was released only three months earlier. They're both science fiction films. They both deal with mind-bending theoretical concepts. "Interstellar" was made with a budget of $165 million. "Coherence" was made with a budget of $50,000. Which film is better? "Coherence", of course. A film doesn't need famous actors and amazing special effects to be good, it just needs a well written story and a competent director.

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