By: John M Jerva
Looking at the new film starring Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan called Synchronic, one can argue that there is still some original ideas out there for films and thisone looks like it’ll mess with your head as well. Mackie and Dornan star as two New Orleans paramedics who that are forced to confront some very harsh realities when a new drug on the streets warps time and reality as we know it. The fil is now playing in select theaters and drive-ins nationwide so check out some images and the new trailer down below!
When New Orleans paramedics and longtime best friends Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) are called to a series of bizarre, gruesome accidents, they chalk it up to the mysterious new party drug found at the scene. But after Dennis’s oldest daughter suddenly disappears, Steve stumbles upon a terrifying truth about the supposed psychedelic that will challenge everything he knows about reality—and the flow of time itself.
From co-directors JUSTIN BENSON & AARON MOORHEAD, Synchronic is a real head trip and thrilling ride all at the same time. Benson and Moorehead talked about it in a statement for the release.
As co-filmmakers and best friends, we’ve spent way too much time together. Sometimes you feel like you’ve heard everything the other one has to say, and no idea is new –at best, a branching evolution of an old one. But something strange happened over a coffee a while back, and one of us said to the other, a little guarded and in a hushed tone, “Last night I got this lightning-bolt idea that scares the hell out of me.” It was brand new, completely insane, and made an odd sort of real-world sense.
It was the concept of SYNCHRONIC: a designer drug that causes you to see time as physicists describe it. Past, present and future all exist simultaneously, rather than in the one-thing-after-another sequential line how we experience it. Your mind being chaotically thrown around in space-time by a shady pharmaceutical is just one terrifying clock-tick away from a bad drug trip we’ve all heard about or had, and we wanted to make it feel real.
We wanted to use the effects of the pill to explore how people romanticize a past that, in truth, was only good to a small subset of the population. The past would be the antagonist of the movie, in some ways becoming a terrifying movie monster we’ve never seen before. We could also express how we tend to always be looking forward or backward for happiness rather than right here in the moment. And among all this, we could tell a story about new dynamics of old friendships, accepting the end of life, family, sacrifice, purpose…
It’s worth mentioning that there’s a little bit of ourselves in the film. We strongly believe nostalgia to be toxic. We have had a long, lived-in friendship, like Steve and Dennis in the film, and we were in opposite relationship situations like them when SYNCHRONIC was written, although their characters’ feelings on the matter aren’t exactly our own. And perhaps a bit amusingly, we’re both armchair enthusiasts of astrophysics, philosophy, futurism, and whatever else we stumble on in Wikipedia deep-dives and used Amazon books.
While we did get to work with incredible, recognizable actors and have a few more crew members and some VFX, it’s created an impression that we finally got a “big budget” to work with. But honestly, it was still the smallest film shooting in New Orleans at the time, and we’re proud that its humble production still lived in the scrappy, do-it-yourself land of independent filmmaking in which we’ve grown up. We hope this movie shows that no matter what kind of movie you’re making, it always pays off to be personal, emotional, and bold.
Synchronic is currently playing in select cinemas and drive-ins courtesy of Well Go USA. Check out the trailer below!