Ink (2009)

It’s kind of hard to review your favorite movie. When I hate something, oh my god, I have to force myself to stop ranting about it. And with a mix of schadenfreude and impassioned writing those posts are usually pretty fun to read (I have been told). But a movie I love? It’s kinda rough to get the ball rolling…

Ever had a night full of good dreams? This movie says that those were given by Storytellers, a group of benevolent people sort of phased out of our reality. “Dream realm” isn’t a term used in the movie, but it works. What about a night full of non-stop nightmares? Those are inflicted by the sinister Incubi, who are never referred to in the plural throughout the movie–only Incubus. And in between are drifters, one of those being the titular Ink. He abducts a girl’s soul from her body with the intent to sacrifice her so he can become an Incubi. The Storytellers assigned to the girl think this is a terrible idea and try to fix the situation.

And then there’s reality. The girl’s father is John, played masterfully by Mr. Chris Kelly. He’s not going to win Father of the Year, as after his wife died he fell down a spiral of drugs and ignoring his personal life. As a result he had his daughter taken away. Now he’s a cutthroat business man, complete with a morning routine that looks like it was pulled straight from American Psycho. The Incubi are pushing him to ignore his daughter’s fate, while the Storytellers have an ace up their sleeve who has a way to bring the broken family together. It just involves a horrible car accident we see at the beginning of the movie.

I like to contrast this movie with Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. Stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this. The Room is a cinematic trashfire and had an estimated budget of $6 million. Like… why? How?! Granted, roughly half of the money went to buying two different cameras (pro tip, don’t do that), but that’s still a ridiculous amount of money spent on one of the most infamous movies ever made. Ink, in direct opposition, had a budget of only a quarter million dollars and looks like art. The special effects work and look amazing. The fight between Allel the Storyteller and Ink near the beginning is an amazing fight, made more enjoyable by every object they hit each other with reconstructing itself in the background. They’re not in reality, so why would it stay broken?

There is a point in the movie where I cry every time I watch it. Bit of spoilers, but it’s when John talks to his dead wife about how he couldn’t cope with the thought of her never coming home. I am actually getting choked up just writing about it! The story and characters are well written, the actors are giving it their all, and the movie is just a gem to watch.

And not to let this post get too long, you may have seen the writer/director’s work! Jamin Winans also made Spin (for some reason a lot of people know it as God is a DJ and I have no idea where that title came from), a video easily found on YouTube about a DJ from… Heaven, maybe, who tries to manipulate time so that a car accident doesn’t happen; Rube Goldberg-esque events are kind of the director’s trademark. Or, if you saw Liam Neeson punch wolves in The Grey, the song at the dramatic climax of Ink (The City Surf) was also in that movie. So that’s not nothing!

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