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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: Ink (2009)

Film Review: Ink (2009)

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As the light fades and the city goes to sleep, two forces emerge. They are invisible to us except for the power they exert over us in our sleep. These two groups battle for our souls through our dreams. One force supports our hopes and gives us strength through good dreams. The other force leads us toward desperation through our nightmares.

There are other forces in the world we don’t know. One of these is the brutal mercenary named Ink. Ink is on a mission for those who give the nightmares though he has his own unknown purposes.

Tonight as the city sleeps, the 8 year old Emma awakens in the dream world. Before she can catch her breath, she is ripped from her sleeping body by Ink.

The fight is on for Emma’s life, as Ink races her through the many dimensions of the dream world. To save her, the dream-givers marshal all their resources. They focus in the real world on winning back the soul of Emma’s tragically broken father, trying to pull him out of his ever-increasing downward spiral.

The motion picture Ink is the allegorical story of good and evil and those trapped in between. No matter how safe you feel, evil may find you. But no matter how far you’ve fallen, redemption is possible.


As with most movies that involve completely new directions and intertwining plots, Ink upon first glance is a menagerie of ideas. Ink refers tot he rather odd looking inter dimensional creature which appears out of no where to take Emma (Quinn Hunchar) on a journey. The one thing that is apparent is a beautifully collage-built editing job that throws a smattering of images and precision cuts at you from the get go. Much of this work is combined in silhouetted flashbacks and time displacement segments.

John (Chris Kelly) has issues. We learn immediately that he is a hard core salesman that has worked his way up the ladder with focus and perseverance. Though with success also comes a loss. A loss of his connection to his family, a loss of his self control, a loss of his nightly outings which all come with the job. You would say that success has gotten the better of him. Because of it, he appears to be an unhappy man even though he’s driven by it as well. When his wife Sara dies in a car accident….. due to complications his daughter is awarded to her parents by the courts. They find him unfit to parent due to his frequent absences.

Upon going to bed one night Emma is snatched up by the determined Ink and taken on a journey against her will. This leaves her in a coma state back in reality. John has forgotten his importance to her. The story is based around 2 stories in motion. Emma’s coma and her journey in the other world and John’s journey and dependence on his career.

John is informed shortly after in which he claims she is out of his life. This tension sets the tone of the film in Jack must come to terms to save his daughter. The inner world has a plan for Emma. Much that transpires brings a certain sense of initial confusion with warriors, pathfinders, and a very odd being called the incubus that all contribute within her coma state. Though this is what makes Ink unique. The incubus as he’s called wears a glass plate face mask that seems to be able to tunnel directly into folks unconscious thoughts and dreams. The film has a ramp effect that viewers have to engage in to get into the flow. Luckily the film came with subtitles which greatly helped understanding the narration more clearly.

“Ink” although it doesn’t fit into a horror film category still falls within the fantastical and sets clearly in class on its own. The tale is one of the more original I’ve seen in long time which manages to encapsulate the wonder behind those dying and those beyond our world. To understands Ink is pretty simple though the characters might elude viewers at first. When someone dies or is facing death, they are taken to a new realm. This realm is invisible to the common world, though these characters can interact with it. They are unseen but according to their roles they all serve a particular purpose in the journey to after life. In the world of “Ink” roles include” “Pathfinders, “Warriors” (or storytellers), Incubus and a few characters that help solve puzzles.

It is a struggle of good and evil but not as clearly defined as we have come to know it. The roles are responsible for the souls journey. Drifters are those who haven’t chosen and are more task orientated. “Storytellers” serve more of a protector role who regard “incubus” as the enemy. The incubus are those who claim the souls before reaching death. Death of course is the point of no return.

Ink who is a deformed drifter has captured Emma so that he can offer her as a sacrifice to the key holder incubus. His offer will grant him bliss and beauty removing his scars and ugliness. The journey takes him across time and space to the ones known as the “assembly”. Meanwhile the storytellers, try and save Emma from fate. The pathfinder who is the most unique of all, is a blind seer who by counting from 1-4 can tune into he beat of the world. The beat like an opera is the flow of events and things in motion. He can alter a persons path by interfering.

“Ink” while visually incredible is one of the most imaginative surreal movies I’ve yet to see. A highly original story that addresses life after death with a whole new perspective. Ink is written, directed, edited and scored by Jamin Winans…obviously a labor of love! Beyond the fantastic’s it is a truly heartwarming piece that touches upon the souls journey, choices we make and the potential outcomes that occur because of them. I would recommend “Ink to anyone and place it clearly as a one of a kind masterpiece.

One comment

  1. Had never even heard of this movie before today.Iv’e since learned it was a very small budget film made by a husband & wife. I have to say it blew me away. I had very low expectations but still…
    A unique and interesting tale well portrayed, its one of those movies that you just know you will always remember. Almost didn’t comment on this as praise then puts high expectations on the film but if you just keep in mind the low budget & small team behind its production I think anyone watching this will still be blown away.


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