SYNCHRONIC [Beyond Fest 2020 Film Review]

By: Joe Meyers 10/6/2020

We’re huge fans of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s films here at The Podcast Macabre. So, to say I was excited to score a ticket to see their latest movie at the Misson Tiki Drive-In as part of Beyond Fest 2020 is an under statement. SYNCHRONIC is easily their most ambitious movie to date. Set in New Orleans, friends and paramedics Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) begin to see increasingly bizarre deaths as they work the night shift.

Steve is the single, party, and “play the field” guy while Dennis is married to Tara (Katie Aselton), and has kids. Secretly Steve longs for what Dennis has, while Dennis seems to have hit a “midlife crisis”, and feels trapped by his family. The guys eventually tie a new designer drug, Synchronic, to the odd cases they’ve seen just in time for Dennis’ teenaged daughter Brianna (Ally Ioannides) to disappear after taking it while hanging out with friends.

The lives of both Steve and Dennis begin to unravel in different ways, leading Steve to go around town in an attempt to purchase all of the available Synchronic so nobody else would get hurt from the supposedly harmless drug. At one of his stops Steve is confronted by a man who wishes to purchase the Synchronic from him at triple what he paid for it. Steve declines, even when offered $2,000.00. We later discover the man is Dr. Kermani (Ramirez Monsef), and he designed Synchronic. As Dr. Kermani reveals the truth behind, Steve is sent on a time-traveling journey in an attempt to rescue Brianna.

I love the premise of SYNCHRONIC, and the visuals people see as they get high on the drug are impressive. Anthony Mackie was a clear standout for me, but the whole cast delivered. My only complaint there is Katie Aselton as Tara didn’t get nearly enough screen time. As with their other films, Benson and Moorhead utilize every cent of the budget they can on screen. The effects work looked great, and nothing made the movie seem budget constricted or small.

Fans of Benson and Moorhead should definitely check SYNCHRONIC out when they’re able. Anyone who loves time-travel stories would do well to get their eyes on the film as well. It’s a great addition to their filmography, and further promises nothing but great things for their future. In a pre-recorded intro to the film Benson and Moorhead revealed they’re quarantining together because they’ve been working on their next project, which went into pre-production as of yesterday. They didn’t drop any hints at what it’ll be about, but I’ll be there to watch whatever new adventure they wish to share.

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