THE IMPORTANT CINEMA CLUB’S SUPER SCARY MOVIE CHALLENGE 6: Coherence (2013)

6. A Horror Film That Takes Place In One Room (No CUBEs)

Eight people — Em (Emily Foxler), Kevin (Maury Sterling), Mike (Nicholas Brendon), Lee (Lorene Scafaria), Hugh (Hugo Armstrong), Beth (Elizabeth Gracen), Amir (Alex Manugian) and Laurie (Lauren Maher) — gather for a dinner part on the night Miller’s Comet passes. Em and Kevin are dating but she’s unsure. Amir has brought Laurie, who used to date Kevin. Beth and Laurie hate one another, yet Laurie is being really tough on Em.

Then things get really weird.

As the lights go out in the entire neighborhood, they realize that everyone in their dining room has exact duplicates in another dining room one house over. Basically, the movie takes place all inside one house, along with another house that has another group of eight people.

Did I say one house? By the end of this movie, every choice has made another reality and some of those are bleeding into one another.

Directed and written by James Ward Byrkit from a story by Manugian, this movie didn’t have a script as much as getting their own unique paragraph which had their goal for the day. This allowed for the story to unfold naturally as the movie shot over five days, which is why so many of the reactions seem so real. Manugian also was on set as Amir to guide any scenes that went too far off the story.

I have to go back and watch this again, as Wikipedia reports that the movie “…cuts to black at 0:02, 0:03, 0:05, 0:05, 0:07, 0:09, 0:19, 0:27, 0:32, 0:34, 1:06, 1:18, 1:22, and 1:23.” Bykirt says that there’s a meaning there but won’t say what it is. He also said that this movie was an attempt “to strip down a film set to the bare minimum: getting rid of the script, getting rid of the crew.”

This movie should be discussed way more than it is and I can’t believe that it took me so long to find it.

You can watch this on Tubi.

One thought on “THE IMPORTANT CINEMA CLUB’S SUPER SCARY MOVIE CHALLENGE 6: Coherence (2013)

  1. A super fascinating movie, and quite the ballsy move to shoot a complex story like this in such an organic way.

    But I guess these types of stories rarely end up being completely logical anyway, so nothing lost on that front, but a lot gained by having a film which feels unusually natural for the genre.

    I like how there are a few moments where you can tell Manugian had to be a bit forceful in trying to steer the story away from a dead-end track, but the blackouts? I can’t even remember if I had a theory about them, or just gave up trying to figure them out!

    Like

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