“There is another theory: that two states continue to exist… separate and decoherent from each other, each creating a new branch of reality based on the two outcomes.”


Coherence is a high concept, low budget science fiction tale in which eight friends’ dinner party unravels as they find themselves contending with the notion of multiple realities. The mystery unfolds best without much advance knowledge of even the setup, but the primary focus is the friction and mistrust that arises within the group as they seek to rationalise their situation. The tightly constrained environment (just a single location, with the whole film shot in five nights) heightens the sense of claustrophobic paranoia, which is the film’s strongest asset. This is the kind of film where characters make mostly smart decisions, sometimes a step ahead of the audience. Although not nearly as complex as Primer, there is a similar sense of riding out the confusion in the first half before being able to recognise patterns and differences later in the film. The largely improvised dialogue has limited depth and Coherence cannot do a great deal with its premise in just 90 minutes, but it remains an unusual and intriguing curiosity.