“Synchronic” is a sci-fi horror movie about a designer drug that causes havoc in the lives of those who ingest it, but it made me want to take an aspirin for the headache it gave me.

Anthony Mackie (from several “Avengers” movies and “The Hate U Give”) and Jamie Dornan (Mr. “Fifty Shades”) play paramedics in New Orleans who encounter some odd emergencies. One person was killed by a sword, another fell down an elevator shaft, another was bitten by a snake that’s not native to the area. Something weird is going on, and it seems to be connected to the packets of something called Synchronic they find at each venue. The cops who respond don’t seem interested in investigating, so the EMTs take it upon themselves to figure out what’s happening and why.

That might have made for a good story, but directors Justin Benson (who wrote the screenplay) and Aaron Moorehead have done everything they can to weigh it down. They use weird camera moves, odd edits, and a plodding pacing that makes everything ponderous. There’s also a soundtrack full of eerie music playing throughout, even in non-suspenseful scenes like a father and daughter playing basketball.

Oddly, although the movie opens in theaters today, the directors say that decision was made without their input, and have urged people not to see it on a big screen during the coronavirus pandemic. I guess they’d prefer you wait until it’s available via video on demand in January.

But you needn’t worry about that, because “Synchronic” is one you can easily skip entirely. I give it a 3 out of 10.