Plot: An abandoned medical research lab seems like an ideal location for an eerie, ghost themed art installation, so two graffiti artists decide to break in and use the creepy facility to present their new work. The lab is also rumored to be haunted, which makes it an even better choice. As the two prepare the site for the show, they discover that the place might not be haunted, but it is also not abandoned, as some research scientists are still around. These scientists have remained to continue their research and while ghosts are spooky, these two have experiments that are much scarier. A mystical being in a mop bucket lurks in the facility’s dark reaches, but can our artists survive this encounter with the deranged scientists and their supernatural experiments?
Entertainment Value: Soft Matter is likely to turn your brain into mush, so the title is quite appropriate in this case. This movie is a creative, wild ride that might not make a lot of sense, but it is never dull and features some memorable moments, to say the very least. The narrative is loose, but weaves some interesting threads together, with a god in a mop bucket at the center of it all. This is such a creative picture, with a strong art vibe both in content and execution, so even if you’re not a horror or sci/fi fan, there’s ample reason to check out Soft Matter. I love all the little odd strokes that creep in, not the least of which is an unexpected musical number that is likely to stick with you long after the credits have rolled. The blend of sci/fi, horror, and absurd humor is an odd cocktail and while it doesn’t all mix together in a smooth fashion, it works better as a result and ups the film’s wackiness in the process. But if you need a coherent, traditional cinematic experience, Soft Matter is more likely to confuse or frustrate, as it does’t play by the usual movie rules. I had fun with this one though, as it has such a fresh and creative feel that kept me reeled in the entire movie.
The movie has some odd romantic vibes at times, but never descends into sleaze and naked flesh is minimal here. There is some violence at times and that means a little bloodshed splashes around, though not much. A good amount of slime, ooze, and other fluids is present as well, which is always fun. The main creature design is quite cool, much better than you might expect from a movie with such limited resources, a real indie horror feat. Soft Matter is sprinkled with other oddball creations as well, most of which look cheap, but creative and are fun to watch in action. The dialogue is fine, but not much stands out as overly memorable. This is never a concern however, as the movie is more about visuals than narrative or dialogue. The craziness scale is put to work in Soft Matter, with an overall mystifying vibe and some wild, outrageous style choices. The movie takes some bold approaches to the visual design, with strange special effects and visual tricks, most of which again look cheap, but work thanks to the offbeat nature of the material. Add in the oddball characters, weird set pieces, and off the wall narratives and Soft Matter earns some solid points.
Overall Insanity: 7/10