Fantastic Fest award-winner Coherence has been acquired for U.S. distribution by Oscilloscope Laboratories, the company has announced.
Directed by James Byrkit, the sci-fi/drama/thriller has a good setup: "On the night of an astrological anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party become subject to a troubling chain of strange and puzzling goings-on." The film debuted at this year's edition of Fantastic Fest on opening night and claimed the Next Wave Best Screenplay award. It also won the Best Screenplay prize at Sitges.
Our own Todd Brown noted that the dialogue was largely improvised by the cast, which makes those prizes ironic. He also declared the film to be "a great personal favorite ... [it] should prove a welcome addition to the sci-fi canon for those who pine for the days of Rod Serling and believe that big ideas do not necessarily require big budgets and big (if any) special effects. This one's a puzzle box."
I agree with Todd that Coherence is a puzzle box, which perhaps explains my somewhat less enthusiastic response. However, my review concluded: "It still offers plentiful rewards for those who are not easily deterred by a convoluted storyline." And I kept hearing more positive responses from friends and strangers alike during Fantastic Fest when asked which films stood out for them. So I'm glad that Oscilloscope has acquired U.S. rights; they're a very good distribution outfit and will get the film the exposure it deserves.
Oscilloscope says Coherence will continue on the festival circuit ahead of a theatrical release in 2014.