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In the dream, you are at a dinner party and Nicholas Brendon is telling you that he played for years in the cast of TV show called ROSWELL. You say “No. Wasn’t it ‘Buffy The ..” when a sudden KNOCKING at the door interrupts you, and then all the lights go out. There’s a signpost up ahead. You’ve just crossed over into COHERENCE, an existential sci-fi thriller conceived and filmed DOGME-style by James Ward Byrkit. It’s hard to say much about COHERENCE without spoiling the fun of seeing it for the first time, and since it is currently having its Boston Debut at the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, I’ll keep spoilers to a minimum.

The entire thing plays like a well-crafted bottle-episode, and uses minimalism effectively at all levels to ensemblize the cast and draw out their best performance. Much like POLANSKI’s CARNAGE and VINTERBERG’s THE CELEBRATION, this film starts out light and intimate while casually ratcheting up the weirdness and social tension throughout. In some ways, COHERENCE plays more in the Horror/Thriller genre than Science Fiction, mainly by providing a rather ‘Survivor Girl’-type heroine in Emily Baldoni (née Foxler). Existentialism and surrealism run like twin rivers through it, which is interesting because creator James Ward Byrkit previously co-wrote the screenplay for the very existential/surreal children’s animation Western RANGO.

If you enjoy a taut, smart, indie-cinema thriller, you will certainly dig COHERENCE.

@SOMERVILLE // $10 // Sat, Feb. 15th, 9:40pm
Boston Sci-Fi Festival FB

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