I haven't done one of these for a while. I suppose it's because I've mostly watched more bigger name films than smaller as of late. But I'm always on the lookout for relatively unknown films with good-to-great reviews. Such was Ink. It's hard to describe this movie. The best I can say is MirrorMask meets What Dreams May Come meets Donnie Darko meets Dark City. In other words, it's stylish, deep, and only occasionally makes sense.

This movie introduces a new mythos, one where opposing forces fight over the subconscious realm. There are the storytellers, those who give the sleeping masses good dreams; on the other end, there are the Incubi, those who give nightmares. John (Christopher Soren Kelly) is a successful businessman on the verge of a major win. But things begin to spiral out of control when his 8-year-old daughter Emma (Quinn Hunchar) falls into a coma. Emma falls into a coma because Ink, a creature attempting to become an Incubi, kidnaps her spirit (or something like that) to sacrifice to those that want her. A group of storytellers must team up with Jacob (Jeremy Make), a blind Pathfinder, to find Emma and bring her back to the living realm before it's too late and her body dies.

The movie is so many things, it's incredibly hard to give my thoughts in a cohesive manner. Let's start with the negative: it moves a bit slow in its first half. It isn't until Jacob shows up that the movie really starts to pick up, but it's not until a little after that where it really grabs you and refuses to let go. You really have no idea what the heck is going on for what is essentially the majority of the movie, leaving you in this perpetual mind freak and confusion.

Granted, it all comes together nicely once they actually start giving you some viable dialogue, story, and character development. The characters are compelling, and the new mythos of this dream world is engaging and interesting. The visuals are magnificent, as well. They aren't as overt and strange as MirrorMask (except maybe the Incubi), but they're interesting enough to keep you intrigued. And even besides the visuals, the movie is stylish. From the fight scenes to the camera work, we're given some interesting choices. And the movie plays with light, making almost every scene seem dreamlike, whether it's the real world or the dream world.

So besides the movie all seeming dreamlike, it also plays out of order. Some scenes, especially those with the father, are shown more than once, sometimes from a different perspective. One of my favorite scenes is the "chain reaction" scene involving Jacob, in which he reveals what makes him so special (and it's a scene that is shown more than once in the movie). And speaking of Jacob, I wish there was more of him in the movie. He was by far the most interesting character. He was quirky and fun, while keeping just enough mystery to not get boring.

The ending threw me for a loop, and I had to do a bit of searching to figure out what the heck happened, but once I did, it all made perfect sense. It's a great ending (once you realize what it all means and that it isn't some strange paradox). Overall, this is one of those movies that, like MirrorMask, I think I'll grow to love even more the more I see it. It has a good story, good acting, great visuals, good action, and great imagination. And it's not just me. With a near 7-point score on imdb and a 90-something percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, I can pretty much say it's not just me loving this movie. So while I'm sure my score will go up upon future viewings, I'm going to score it for how my initial viewing left me.

A Keanu 'Whoa'


  1. YES! The chain reaction scene was one of my favorites as well! I love it when the music box starts playing and he begins to direct. Also the last 20 minutes or so were just amazing, it was almost like one long battle interspersed with flashbacks and synced to the really awesome score.

    What did you think of the action scenes? I know that somewhere there are people who think they looked cheap, but I prefer the Ink style to most of the stuff you see in multi-million dollar thrillers.

    It is not just you loving the movie! One thing I have noticed is that people either tend to love or hate this movie, at least by the netflix and IMDB reviews. Obviously I fall into the "love" category.

  2. I really liked the action scenes. I thought they were done really well. There were a couple moments where it was too "I can't tell what's going on," but that was rare.


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