The Beach House (2020) | SHUDDER
At first look of this trailer, I thought it resembled TENET, Christopher Nolan’s hopeful “film of the year.” The story seemed interesting enough and worthy of a watch, so I sat down hopeful that I would not be as confused as I was when leaving the theater after TENET. Time, space, memory--and it even looked like it had some spooky elements to it too. ‘Tis the season!
This duo of directors, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, are definitely heavily influenced by aforementioned director Christopher Nolan. I felt that this film was a combination of MEMENTO (2000), INCEPTION (2010), and TENET (2020), borrowing some aspect of each of those films and weaving it into SYNCHRONIC. These directors have worked together in the past, and it shows. There is a confidence in the decision making of where the story goes and when it goes there and why. They are not trying to fool the audience, but lead you on a journey with a lot of content.
Two paramedics based in New Orleans face a series of weird encounters on their calls due to a drug that seems to be taking over, aptly named “synchronic.” The drug causes all types of bizarre things to happen to those who take it, and when one of the paramedics turns to taking the drug to find out for himself, the story takes off. Both paramedics face situations that test their strength and resilience both internally and with each other. Warning: there is an emotional moment with a dog that could very easily break your heart. The ending will wrap everything up and pull at your heartstrings as well.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
This cast has great chemistry: Dennis (Jamie Dornan) and Steve (Anthony Mackie) play best friends and coworkers, and their connection is genuine. Steve is the most dynamic character: there are heartbreaking moments with him, yet still there are a few moments where I laughed at lines he delivered perfectly.
Time, Space, Memory--
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The music serves as a function to the film and nothing else. The music accompanies the plot and the dialogue just fine, adding to the scenes and not distracting from anything. Nothing special here, but nothing wrong with that, either.
I was not completely blown away by SYNCHRONIC, but overall I found it interesting and creative. Even performances and the desire to see the final outcome will keep you interested. Enjoyable enough, but nothing ground-breaking.
SYNCHRONIC - Now Showing IN CINEMAS
The look overall felt grainy and dark, and I still cannot decide if it completely works or not. The graininess of the footage could be a possible issue with the screener link, so I could not tell if this was a choice or not. New Orleans plays the backdrop of the film well, and the special effects are well done too. There are many moments when the synchronic drug takes the character and the audience on a visually stimulating, dream-like trip. The effect used to dissolve characters resembles the same effect used in Pixar’s INSIDE OUT (2015) when Bing Bong disappeared forever. Again, the film seems to borrow inspiration--and it works.