Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are two of the most exciting voices in independent horror cinema. Beginning with 2012’s Resolution and followed by the brilliant Spring and The Endless, they’ve created cinema which is not only thoughtful, intelligent and innovative, but spans a number of genres. They have done much of the heavy lifting, on both sides of the camera, themselves. Their latest film, Synchronic, sees them push boundaries even further.
Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) are paramedics working on the late shift. Whilst Steve is something of a lady’s man, having a string of meaningless one-night stands, Dennis is married with two children. Good friends, they’re both unhappy with their lot and resort to drink and drugs as an escape. When they start encountering a number of strange deaths, evidence points towards a new designer drug, Synchronic.
Synchronic spins its story around two likeable leads, creating a sound foundation to then challenge your imagination. There’s an off-kilter and otherworldly atmosphere throughout, conjured up by Moorhead’s stark apocalyptic cinematography, which challenges our perceptions of reality. Much of the heavy lifting rests on Mackie and he approaches this task with a rye sense of humour. Whilst it is perhaps not as focused or purposeful as their previous films, Synchronic is a fascinating, challenging and entertaining sci-fi horror.
Synchronic is released on digital (PVOD) by Signature Entertainment on 29 January.