Some time ago while reading some random movie sites, I heard mention of Ink. I was curious, but ultimately too lazy to really do anything about satisfying my curiosity. And then I got wind of Double Edge Films' DVD giveaway. I'm sure I'll be karmically paying for this bit of luck somewhere down the line.
John is estranged from his young daughter, Emma. He might still love her, but he's too consumed by his work. When she suffers a seizure and winds up in the hospital, Emma's gaurdian/grandparents ask John to visit, but John says no. Tormented by his decision, John battles with his innate love for his daughter while at the same time harbouring a deep hatred for the people who took her away. When he gets into a car accident, he's taken to the same hospital as Emma, and John finally puts aside his resentment and goes to his daughter.
As these events unfold in the real world, the people of the dreamworld, which exists somewhere in between this world and the next, are hard at work trying to prevent something terrible from happening. Emma has been kidnapped by Ink, who plans to take her to the Incubi--the ones who bring nightmares--and exchange her for freedom. The storytellers--the people who bring good dreams--try to influence the waking John in the real world to do the right thing before Ink sells his daughter's soul.
Ink reminds me of Nightwatch. I think it's the idea of there being this battle of good vs evil going on all around us all the time and we don't know about it. And it kind of looks like Nightwatch, which is, in my opinion, a good thing. Also, the movie's a bit like Dark City in that it deals with sleep and dreams. But the film has merits all its own, and its visual style and themes are just two reasons of many as to why Ink succeeds.
Ink looks good, and the visual effects, particularly the Incubi, are well done. I do have to lodge a complaint against the use of shakycam in the fight scenes, and there are a number of fights. But the rest of the movie, its look and style, help to make up for the poorly filmed fight scenes. I'll also mention that I really liked the music. This isn't something I normally comment on, but it made a real impression.
Urban fantasy is not common among genre film. I'm not entirely sure why this is, maybe because it functions almost as a paradox--two different and very real worlds exist at the same time in the same place--but whatever the reason, I'm always happy to see an attempt. And Ink is, in my opinion, an honest and original attempt at something different.