Last night I watched Ink, a intriquing new fantasy by Jamin Winans which was recently released on dvd and brought to mind films like Donnie Darko, Brazil and Dark City. I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by it’s truely unique story and visuals.
The basic premise of Ink is that when we sleep at night there are two forces that may visit us, the one who bring us good dreams and of course the ones who deliver nightmares. These forces are often at odds with each other and are ultimately trying to influence our every move in life. Both sides when entering our world are invisible to us and one character, Ink is on a mission for the dark ones to steal the soul of a young girl to gain acceptance into their ranks. The forces of good known as the Storytellers fight to stop this from happening while trying to wake her dead beat dad from his meaningless & mundane daily conciousness to save his daughters soul on the other side.
This movie’s powerful plot, excellent visuals and haunting score keep you in a state constant melancholy. At times there are even some impressive action sequences as well. One particularly is the first big battle in the little girl’s house which brilliantly shows how these beings exist in the real waking world. Almost every scene is this film is hazy and emotional on some level as if the whole experience is in fact a dream itself. The acting unfortunately varies a bit, though there are still some strong perfomances here. However at times the good acting can make the bad look a whole lot worse. Particularly from a character named Jacob, a pathfinder who can alter real life events and wears electrical tape over his eyes (though he does cause a pretty magnificent chain reaction scene) .
For a $250,000 budget this indie film definately delivers the goods. The CG is used tastefully and the films overall look is impressive. Every now then however some scenes creep into the movie that sadly reflect it’s lower budget. The hugley deformed main character Ink is well done also, even if at times I was certain his gigantic quivering prosthetic nose was going to drop from his face. I think anyone going into this film should not expect The Matrix (even though I did notice a little influence) but more so a heartfelt adult fantasy that will leave you pondering the power of your own dreams…