We enjoyed some coffee (and bacon) during movie night on Sunday. The spooky season was over, but we found some promising new trailers. Coherence stood out. A table and some glowsticks. That’s all these actors had to work with, and they were brilliant.
I recently told my friend what I expect out of a horror film. I want scary. A clever plot. Likeable characters, a great story, a captivating new look at human nature and a lesson that I will still be pondering weeks later. He said, you’re expecting way too much from a horror movie. But why shouldn’t this genre deliver?
When I read that Coherence was a “puzzle movie”, my first thought was oh great, a pain in the ass puzzle movie. They’re always gratuitously complicated and with very little payoff. Coherence is completely different. The puzzle is elegant. So it’s not like some homework assignment for the audience. It’s really fun and easy, and you can go as deep as you want into the layers of clues.
The trailer doesn’t tell you much because there is no way at all to describe this plot (it’s basically about a comet that messes with lives). The preview is not scary. But the movie is. I was on edge all day; when I took out the recycling tonight the scarecrow on our porch nearly gave me a heart attack.
If you watch it with someone you trust, you might not recognize that person by the end of the movie. It really was a mind-scrambler. Don’t watch it with someone who plays cruel practical jokes because after this movie would be one hell of a time to scare someone.
For full enjoyment of the movie, pay attention to each character’s personality. Last night my mind was spinning on about identity, choices, kindness, the physical universe and how one small decision could lead to paths within paths that endlessly diverge away from the center. Five stars. At least.