Today: June 12, 2024

Synchronic

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are among the finest filmmakers working today. Over their previous three films Resolution, Spring and The Endless, they have presented fascinating singular visions unlike anything else seen in cinema today – and it is always cause for celebration when they drop another project. Thankfully for moviegoers everywhere, they are back this week with Synchronic.

Although sadly sacrificing its cinema release, and all of the exposure that would bring, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Synchronic makes its way to premium VOD this Friday. The cerebral and haunting drama follows two New Orleans paramedics (Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan) as they encounter a series of horrific deaths linked to the titular designer drug, Synchronic. To say any more about the film would threaten to spoil its many surprises. Benson and Moorhead’s films are always best experienced with as little prior knowledge as possible, and that is certainly no different with this trippy sci-fi journey that further cements the filmmakers’ reputation as masters of their many genres.

Working with bigger names than they have in the past – their previous films have starred indie actors, and themselves – Dornan and Mackie are a perfect fit for the filmmakers’ darkly trippy universe. Mackie especially is a revelation as Steve, delivering an intense and compelling performance that almost single-handedly drives the second half of the narrative. It is almost certainly his best performance to date. Dornan is great too, distancing himself ever-further from the Christian Grey persona that he burst onto the screen with in the abysmal Fifty Shades trilogy as the bearded and broken Dennis.

The unsettling sound design of Synchronic, thanks in part to a flawless and disturbing score from Jimmy LaValle, is the star of the show. Along with the twisted visuals, the film looks and sounds nightmarishly beautiful, and delivers perhaps the most Benson & Moorhead experience to date. Fans of the pair will be absolutely thrilled with this next step in their careers, while newcomers might just discover their new favourite filmmakers.

Synchronic is another unforgettable entry in Benson & Moorhead’s filmography, and one that comes with the highest recommendation. Go in blind, come out changed. It is a masterpiece.

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