James Ward Byrkit
SciFi/Fantasy 89 June 20, 2014
First-timer James Ward Byrkit keeps things generic: Anxious blonde Em (Emily Foxler) arrives at the dinner party ahead of her boyfriend, Kevin (Maury Sterling), who is waiting for an answer to the Big Question. There are the hosts (Nicholas Brendon and Lorene Scafaria), Kevin's provocateur ex-girlfriend (Lauren Maher), and a slightly older New Age diva (ex-Miss America Elizabeth Gracen). The trigger is the news of a comet passing overhead, and an ominously dished tale about one that passed over Finland in 1923 and reportedly skewed people's identities. Before long, the smart phones crack, the power goes out, and an intrepid cohort decide to visit a strangely familiar house up the street, from which they return the same but not quite.
Is it a spoiler to let on that the doppelganger-isms start showing up one-third of the way in? From there, the reveals are all Byrkit has in the bank, so suffice it to say that reality goes all quantum, even though everything appears normal. With its enigmas revealed in dialogue alone, Coherence could be a radio play, and thankfully so, since the handheld, lo-fi digital visuals are so taxing.