There is a real trend within low budget film making to exploit the Sci-FI genre. For a long time this was the preserve of the mega budget film due to the reliance on expensive effects that the audience have come to expect. What some enterprising film makers have now done is to take the premise of a SCi-Fi film and weave an interesting story around it to form a familiar drama or thriller.
Coherence covers the period of one night where a group of thirty-something friends gather together for a celebration meal. coincidentally this is the evening when a comet is due to pass close to Earth. During the meal the lights briefly go out and all communication via phones and television is lost. Upon the restoration of power the guests notice that there is no lights outside except for a single glow in the middle distance. Two of the men venture out, glow sticks in hand, to see what is going on. Strange things start to happen during their absence and the household is thrown into chaos.
The film makers and the ensemble cast are able to produce a convincing and engaging movie on what appears to be a very small budget. It is the writing that drives the story on and the atmosphere of the piece that makes it an entertaining viewing experience. The main story is drip fed to the audience in such a way as to keep their interest while not totally blowing it. The pacing has to be just right to keep this balance and here it does.
The film is basically set within one location that is used to very good effect. Within the confines of the lower floor of the house the director is able to give us a sense of the closeness of the darkness outside while making it a seemingly safe place for the protagonists.
The interactions of the cast make for the best feature of the movie. The main story thread is weaved into the various sub plots. These flesh out the characters to the point that they are relatable and believable people who are caught in a vary weird situation. The film uses the Sci-Fi element very well. It is a device to enable the story to move forward rather than the end point. It is a clever use of situation rather than CGI spectacle that makes it such an enjoyable watch.