Three-quarters indie fantasy classic, one-quarter poorly acted confusion; Ink is a low-budget visual delight, which is thoroughly enjoyable despite its flaws.

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Ink is a film I knew very little about going into it. I knew nothing of the cast, director or plot – only that is was a cult fantasy film which had been pirated more than it sold. As a lover of strange films I was therefore thoroughly excited.

What was in store is delightful piece of independent cinema that is both visually stunning and thought provoking as writer/director Jamin Winans creates four different universes and several intersecting plots in a fast-paced and confusing fantasy-drama.

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The focus of the film is on dreams and the battle between the creators of good dreams – the Storytellers – and nightmares – the Incubus. When a young girl’s soul is kidnapped by the shadowed incubi Ink, a group of Storyteller’s must use their abilities to show her distant father than family is more important than work.

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The story however is not overly important as the film success comes from its breathtaking visuals and the way in which each of the universes is represented. The film is at its best when no dialogue is used, for example the first appearance of the storytellers or the scene where they ‘break the flow’. These scenes are visually fantastic and make a true impact on the audience. The villainous Incubus with their odd projector-like faces are also extremely successful in being nightmarish and haunting.

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The best sequence in the film by far is a fight sequence between a group of Storytellers and Ink. The way in which the scene is shot, edited and digitally altered is truly fantastic and was a joy to watch. With the impact of every punch being felt and the addition of self-fixing furniture an added delight.

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For all its good points though there are several moments where the low-budget becomes apparent. Some of the sets are obviously made on the cheap and the acting by several of the cast is extremely wooden. The poor acting is particularly obvious at the start of the film where lead actor Christopher Soren Kelly’s performance felt very student filmy… albeit good student film, although this does improve over the course of the movie for me it remained a huge distraction and stopped me from fully connecting.

All these problem though fade away as the plot unfolds and you become engrossed in the visuals and the story. On a base level this film is fantastic with themes, characters and ideas all being solid. It is a film that I loved for its originality and one that I will definitely watch again.

8/10.