Ink DVD Review
Written and Directed by Jamin Winans
2009, Region 2 (PAL), 107 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 25th April 2011
Christopher Kelly as John
Quinn Hunchar as Emma
Jessica Duffy as Liev
Shelby Malone as Sarah
Shannon Steel as Shelly
Jennifer Batter as Allel
Jeremy Make as Jacob
Ink is a film that has come from nowhere and astounded critics and film fans around the world. It was originally released on DVD in 2009 in America, but after only one week it had been downloaded over one million times and was number one on Pirate Bay. With comparisons to Brazil, The Matrix, and director Jamin Winans being compared to Christopher Nolan, the hype is enough to intrigue anyone, but it is the film’s “out there” storyline that hooks you in.
The film mixes dreams and nightmares and entwines the conscious with the subconscious to the point of not knowing what is real anymore. In this realm of subconscious there are two forces working against each other: the Storytellers — who inspire good dreams, strength and hope — and the Incubi, those that create nightmares, take souls and thrive on destruction. A young girl, Emma (Quinn Hunchar), is taken in her dreams by a creature called Ink, while a group of Storytellers tries to protect her. Her father, John (Christopher Kelly), has substituted work for love after losing his wife but now it is down to him alone to find his true self in order to rescue his daughter.
The first fifteen minutes or so are pretty baffling and it could be very easy to dismiss the film and give up. The story constantly flips between different characters and their dreams and realities. It’s confusing, but the style and general look of the dream sequences is sharp and compelling. Once things get going and the little girl Emma is taken, a battle begins between the Storytellers and Ink, a strange creature who, although a little reminiscent of Old Greg from The Mighty Boosh, is still menacing. The fight scenes are really stylish and slick, a nice mixture of martial arts and pure rage. The big clincher for me was the introduction of the Incubi. These guys are so creepy they’re worthy of being in an Aphex Twin video. You don’t see their real faces, just a distorted projection that hovers in front of their head. A great horror creation that could be something straight out of our own nightmares.
Like a jigsaw puzzle, things start to piece together and I quickly found myself wrapped up in the story, trying to figure out who everyone is and their purpose. Wanins is methodical with his story-telling, the reveals are slow but captivating which makes this the success it is.
Accompanying the film is a pretty solid soundtrack that sets the eerie, disorientating mood. One scene in which The Pathfinder shows his powers by finding the “beat of the world”, sees him creating small accidents and witnessing their consequences unfold to his orchestration. Watching it is pure poetry on screen, which is down to the amazing visuals paired with a serene soundtrack and the outcome is incredibly beautiful.
Ink is hard to place in any one genre. It can certainly be described as science fiction, it’s mind boggling and its timeline can be hard to follow. It has horror aspects within the nightmare realm, but it can also be seen as a modern day fairytale, with Ink being the tortured evil drifter and Emma the innocent, pure victim — innocence battling evil.
Right now Ink is an indie cult hit in the making, get in there, watch it and wait for director Jamin Wanins to become the next big thing.
Video and Audio:
This was a screener, so the audio and video may not be representative of the final product. However, the audio is clear for the feature and the video, although most scenes are in a dream-like state, they are also very crisp. Shown 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
The retail DVD will include:
- 10-minute behind-the-scenes featurette
- Director Commentary
- Interview with Chris Kelly and Quinn Hunchar
- Deleted Scenes