VOD film review: Anti Matter
James R | On 10, Jul 2017
Director: Keir Burrows
Cast: Yaiza Figueroa, Philippa Carson, Tom Barber-Duffy
Every now and then, a tiny film comes along that blows your fragile little mind. Anti Matter (formerly Worm) is one of them. Directed by Keir Burrows, the sci-fi, which is inspired on some level by Alice in Wonderland, dives into its own rabbit hole and comes out the other side with a gripping study of what makes us human that rivals blockbusters with far bigger budgets. Not bad for an indie film – and incredibly impressive for a director’s first feature.
The movie follows Ana (Figueroa), a PhD student at Oxford, who accidentally invents a teleporting device. Excited by the possibilities, she and her friend, Nate (Barber-Duffy), promptly begin to explore, recruiting Liz (Philippa Carson) to provide some dodgy tech support. In no time at all, they’re breaking the normal laws of the universe – and the laws of the Internet – and things, of course, go horribly wrong.
We say “in no time at all”, but any sense of time is swiftly sucked out of the screen, along with other fundamental things, such as memories. And so Ana finds herself investigating what’s happened, with little way of understanding any of it.
Burrows makes sure the feeling is mutual, not just taking a leap into the unknown, but throwing us through the window of knowledge into unnerving territory. Animal masks, government figures and environmental activists all appear, as the impeccable sound design and claustrophobic visuals build a sinister atmosphere that the cast echo with their own increasingly untrustworthy performances.
At the middle of it all is the fantastic Yaiza Figueroa, who manages to bring out both sides of her lead: the inquisitive, intelligent scientist, and the scared, lonely, lost girl, whose Wonderland turns out to be anything but. The result is a hard piece of sci-fi that’s wonderfully easy to watch, proving as moving as it is mind-boggling. Like watching something new emerge from an undiscovered cocoon, there’s a thrill witnessing such talent announce itself on-screen: there’s imagination to spare in Burrows’ 100 minutes. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait long to see the next film it brings to life. Until then, don’t miss a chance to watch this.