15th May2018

‘Soft Matter’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Ruby Lee Dove II, Hal Schneider, Mary Anzalone, Devyn Placide, Mark Blumberg, Catherine Grady, David Dillard, Sam Stinson, Mykal Monroe, Bradley Creel, Ruby Epkins | Written and Directed by Jim Hickcox

soft-matter-poster

Soft Matter certainly has originality on its side. A story that somehow manages to mix two trendy graffiti artists, two immortality-obsessed scientists and a sea god sounds like it’s worth a watch even just for the bizarreness.

In truth, it’s not actually as bizarre as it sounds. Immortality-obsessed scientists isn’t anything new in the world of sci-fi but the male and female duo do add plenty of humour. At first you may wonder how the two graffiti artists are going to link with the story but it soon becomes clear as they want to throw a last minute trendy art gallery/show to promote and make money from their art. They choose a run down, old building that they think will be creepy enough to add to the atmosphere of the show. And the sea god….. well that is a little bit crazier!

Comedy is obviously very subjective and in Soft Matter, for me, there were more misses than hits. That said, when it got things right, it did make me laugh out loud. It is a very silly movie but the film-makers know this and embrace it. At times it did feel like Soft Matter was trying too hard to be ‘cool’ and funny and it doesn’t quite pull it off. The actors don’t do bad jobs but it does have an amateur feel to things at times. The low budget obviously plays a part in this but doesn’t stop the sea god from looking pretty great. The outfit and make-up effects giving it a Creature From The Black Lagoon-style look and although it’s not the scariest creature you’ll see, it is an enjoyable one. The creature even gets in one of the funniest lines of the whole movie.

This low budget might be the reason we get some neon coloured basic computerised effects for fight scenes. It’s hard to explain how this looks but think if you used MS Paint to draw lines over weird fights in your favourite movies. And you know what? It actually works well. Yes it’s ridiculous but it’s in keeping with the movie and most importantly fun. Even giving Soft Matter an Eighties vibe of sorts (also helped by a decent synth pop score at times). Making the film almost as cool as it wants to be.

There’s also a couple of childish and crazy animated sequences that are odd even in these surroundings but once again they fit well.

Soft Matter is not a great movie by anyone’s standards but it is one that is hard to dislike very much. Fun and originality are things I love to see in my horror, and Soft Matter certainly achieves those things.

** 2/5

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