Coherence begins with a fuzzy shot of the main protagonist Em (Emily Baldoni) driving while talking on her phone. Suddenly she loses the call and her phone screen shatters.
Cut to a close-up of olive oil being drizzled onto a chickpea salad. We are at the world’s most boring dinner party ever. The guests are all pretentious, white middle class people complaining about their first world problems. But wait, a comet is passing overhead that very night, Miller’s Comet.
Em breaks the monotony of the dinner party when she tells the other guests about another comet that passed over Finland in 1923. According to her story residents were disoriented and one woman even called the police to have a strange man claiming to be her husband removed from her home. The police officer insisted it was in fact her actual husband but the woman said it was impossible since she had killed her husband a few days prior.
Meanwhile no one has any cell phone service and the internet is down. The growing tensions are palpable despite the smiles and dinner party cordialities.
Coherence uses Schrodinger’s cat to create an imaginative horror scenario. Think the “Many World’s Theory” as explored in the show Sliders but pushed to the edge of disturbing.
The film’s low-budget actually amps the horror factor a la Blair Witch but the jump-cuts are abrupt to say the least. Also the bad zoom shots are incredibly distracting. Nonetheless Coherence is original and deeply unsettling. Baldoni’s delivers a very subtle and natural performance adding to the film’s intimate feel.