Netflix's Psychological Mind-Bending Horror Movie Shoots to Number One

Anthony Mackie might be capturing the attention of Marvel fans with Disney+'s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but it's his new psychological thriller Synchronic on Netflix that is really captivating viewers. Following its release on the streaming platform April 16, the science-fiction horror movie directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 but is just finally getting acquainted with viewers.

Starring Mackie and Jamie Dornan, Synchronic shot to the number one movie on Netflix in the U.S. this past weekend for its mind-bending twists and turns steeped in time travel that has viewers guessing the whole way through. The sci-fi thriller pairing Mackie and Dornan as two New Orleans paramedics, Steve and Dennis, working the late shift might seem like a reasonable premise, but it's the cases they come across while working the late shift with individuals who have either died in strange circumstances or whose stories feel incoherent. While Dennis (Dornan) tries to hold it off as a part of the job, Steve (Mackie) investigates and discovers all the cases are linked to a bizarre designer drug called Synchronic. But when Dennis's daughter suddenly goes missing, Steve learns a terrifying truth that has him digging even deeper.

Originally released in 2019, the movie released in theaters last October and followed a DVD and Blu-ray release this past January. It is also available to rent via Amazon.com. Synchronic is a ratings hit, too, with a freshness score of 79% on Rotten Tomatoes and a relatively close audience score of 76%. Rated R for some violent, bloody images and language, critics have praised the film, with one writer for Inverse stating the "time-travel thriller with noir influences has something interesting to say, both about the genres it dips into and the history of America." The San Jose Mercury credits how the indie filmmakers Benson and Moorhead have made the "sci-fi landscape a much more vibrant and interesting place."

When asked about the initial inspiration for the creation of Synchronic, written by Benson, Moorhead reveals it had a lot to do with "ideas that stick with you," per an interview with Dread Central. "One of those ideas is the idea of eternalism or block state universe," he said, adding how Watchmen and V for Vendetta writer Alan Moore implements a lot in his own work. "Where time is not actually flowing in any one direction, as far as we know. It's actually potentially already fixed, and everything that will happen has already happened, and everything that already happened is still there somewhere. It’s actually a very comforting idea. The people that die are actually still alive, but just somewhere else."

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He adds it was this "scary part" that they wanted to add to Synchronic. "That was probably the very beginning of it, coupled with a designer synthetic drug, which is also its own weird, insane world, being able to allow one to perceive time that way," he said.

Synchronic is now streaming on Netflix for subscribers in the U.S. For those looking to own a copy of the movie, it is now available on DVD and Blu-ray via Amazon. For more on the movie and all your favorite Netflix gems, stay tuned to the latest from PopCulture.

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