A Sci-Fi Marvel Made in Five Days with No Budget is Now on Prime

A Sci-Fi Marvel Made in Five Days with No Budget is Now on Prime
Image credit: Ugly Duckling Films

And you've probably never heard of it.


  • This sci-fi movie is famous for being made in only five days for less than $50,000.
  • It was the directorial debut of one of the most talented people in Hollywood.
  • Now you can stream it on Prime.

After its premiere, this film immediately received numerous accolades for its inventive approach to production and great acting. Interestingly, it was also the directorial debut of one of Hollywood's most underrated talents, the filmmaker personally responsible for such Gore Verbinski's classics as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Rango.

The name of this filmmaker is James Ward Byrkit, and he is a man who is not afraid to try something different, as you will see when we talk about the making of 2013 Coherence.

What is this movie about?

The plot centers on Emily, played by Emily Foxler, who attends a dinner party with seven others at the home of her friends Mike and Lee. Throw in an ex-girlfriend who is inappropriately flirting with Emily's boyfriend, Kevin, and there is enough dramatic tension to have you hooked. But that's just the beginning.

A comet is about to pass overhead, causing a stunning and terrifying situation. Reality splits in two, and now the group must decide how to survive when the two halves collide again. Cue a litany of impossible choices and awkward scenes with character doubles, the audience must determine who is who, along with those at the center of the story.

Production Highlights

The concept sounds appropriately spooky and sci-fi-themed, but the plot of Coherence is not the only interesting thing here. The story of how the movie came to be is almost as interesting.

James Byrkit had a dream. He wanted to make a movie without a crew and without a script. He had a basic idea of how he wanted the plot to unfold, but beyond that, he largely relied on the actors to drive the story forward.

With a meager budget of only $50,000, Byrkit also had to cut as many corners as possible to bring his vision to life. By choosing to shoot the entire movie in his own home, he saved a small fortune on location fees.

Why Coherence is Such an Important Film

It is easy for the uninitiated to dismiss Coherence as just another low-budget experimental sci-fi film. But those who have looked deeper have discovered the extent of the talent behind the conception and execution of this film. It is regularly cited in film studies courses as an example of how 'less is more' is something true filmmakers should strive for.

While bigger budget films have the luxury of A-list stars and top-notch special effects to wow their audiences, it is in smaller budget films that we truly see miracles happen. When you watch Coherence, you are drawn into the confusion and terror of the characters, you feel their tension and paranoia. You get a sense of impending doom, and you feel like you are with them every step of the way in their terrifying experience. In short, Coherence does what every sci-fi thriller does.

With an IMDB rating of 7.2 and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 89%, this movie is one of those rarities in the film world where critics and audiences seem to agree on its quality.

You can stream Coherence now on Prime. It is also available to rent on AppleTV.