Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s latest film, Synchronic, may initially seem like a far-out sci-fi horror flick about a time-altering drug, especially based upon the opening scene. However, the film is anchored to reality, specifically the personal struggles of two paramedics working in New Orleans. Their story and character arcs ground Synchronic in all the pain and beauty of everyday life. The result is a powerful genre film about human connection.
During the turn of the century, the New French Extremity film movement spread across France, potentially its most iconic film movement since the New Wave. These were dark, provocative films that aimed to dissect the country’s taboos and unrest. Many films within the movement are worth discussing, but I’m talking about this for one main reason. New French Extremity has some crazy horror films! There was a time when a horror fan went to NFE to really test their stamina, often with depression inducing results (it took me a long time to recover from Martyrs). The horror community embraced these films, and since the movement’s “end” in the early 2010s, French horror has been left in the shadow of New French Extremity. A few gems can be found throughout the last decade, but as of 2020, one surprise film may signal a second wave of arthouse horror in France. This is Anonymous Animals, the feature debut of Baptiste Rouveure.