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2018 05 20 Soft Matter

Soft Matter Movie Review

Written by Ryan Holloway

Released by Wild Eye Releasing

Soft Matter Poster

Written and directed by Jim Hickcox
2018, 72 minutes, Not Rated
Released on VOD on May 22nd, 2018

Ruby Lee Dove II as Kish
Hal Schneider as Grist
Mary Anzalone as Kriegspiel
Devyn Placide as Haircut
Catherine Grady as Miss Teath
Sam Stinson as Sea-god

Soft Matter 01 Soft Matter 02


From the director of short film Divine Urine comes an equally insane mind-melter about an angry sea-god and a couple of scientists trying to unlock the key to immortality. There is no sugarcoating this, or slime coating? Soft Matter is soft on plot, decent acting or a reason to hold your attention till the end.

Two graffiti artists, Kish and Haircut, break into a supposedly abandoned hospice to create an art installation, but uh-oh, they stumble upon a couple of researchers, Grist and Kriegspiel, who are trying to find a scientific path to immortality by splicing the DNA of various sea creatures. After many failed attempts they spend most of their time caring for their gloppy creations that range from a splat on the floor to a human-bin-bag-covered-slime-beast? During their research they unwittingly resurrect an ancient sea creature that is totally pissed off and warns them that they must cease their work or face its wrath.

Much of Soft Matter’s run time is dedicated to the scientists who are pretty painful to watch. With the dialogue, plot and editing moving along at a snail’s pace you can only hope that the creatures make it all worthwhile. They don’t, and while we can all appreciate the product of a low budget from time to time, it’s hard to appreciate this as anything more than an exercise in patience. This is tested to the limit with a three-minute dance sequence from a bin bag with shoes that should really have been sacrificed for a shorter run time. No such luck.

Kish and Haircut are far more watchable but still can’t lift the clunky dialogue out of the goop or give the film anything resembling levity.

Soft Matter 03 Soft Matter 04

Soft Matter 05 Soft Matter 06

The surreal nature of the film, that gives us songs about dead tortoises and unwelcome animation sequences could almost be considered cute, but they just feel like cheap distractions.

Once the angry sea-god turns up in a mop bucket it’s all over and the film becomes more of a chore with every frame. The sea-god is actually the one thing that kinda looks cool but given that it's up against a taped up black sack it's not saying much. 

Despite the presence of the bucket-based angry fish beast, our scientists fail to stop their meddling with nature and seal their fate.

Soft Matter is an attempt at a surreal comedy but rests too hard on its low budget when it could have tried to be so much more than the literal sum of its parts.

Leave it in the mop-bucket it came from.

Soft Matter 07 Soft Matter 08


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About The Author
Ryan Holloway
Author: Ryan HollowayWebsite: https://www.ryanholloway.net/
Staff Writer
As far back as he can remember Ryan has always had an obsession with films, and horror in particular. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and ‘Alien’ were the first films that really stuck in the psyche and rather than scarring his tiny mind and running up a huge therapy bill, those films created a fascination with the dark side of life and art. Brought up by Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers (not literally), horror will always fascinate him no matter how absurd, dark, twisted, barmy or just plain wrong. Horror DNA gives him the opportunity, and excuse, to legitimise his macabre tastes and watch whatever strangeness comes his way.
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