Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Directed by Jamin Winans.
2009. Rated PG-13, 106 minutes.
Chris Kelly
Quinn Hunchar
Jessica Duffy
Jennifer Batter
Eme Ikwuakor
Shelby Malone
Jeremy Make

John (Kelly) is a widower who has lost custody of his little girl Emma (Hunchar) to his in-laws due to some struggles with drugs and alcohol. They won’t even let him see her even though he’s overcome those obstacles and is a very successful businessman. Things change when Emma has a seizure and falls into a coma. That’s when the in-laws come calling for John, who may or may not go to his daughter’s side. What none of them understand is that the battle for her life is being waged by a group of warriors who exist outside of our awareness, but protect our souls. Emma’s soul has been kidnapped by Ink, a dark and morose creature looking to move up in the bad guy ranks.

This is an intriguing tale, not least of all because it keeps us busy trying to figure out what one half of the story has to do with the other. We’re introduced to the more fantastic side of things first. It’s a Matrix inspired take on the concept of guardian angels. As a result, we get fight scenes bolstered by the use of some interesting special fx. Mostly, it’s things coming back together after having been broken in the heat of battle. Between the action sequences we see the good guys prepare to face the bad guys, early on. Later, it becomes a war of wills between Ink and Liev (Duffy), our last hope to save Emma. The more traditional side of things is fairly simple, but helped along by the same folks trying to help the little girl. It is when these people, whom John has no idea of, intervene most directly in his life that the movie sizzles. The tension bubbles to the surface and we really feel the struggle between the various factions.

The problems with this movie are mostly superficial, but easily noticeable. Chiefly, the ambitions of the story seem to exceed the budget. Effects, costuming and even fight choreography all work individually. When pulled together, some of those binding elements are lacking. For one, the haze often around the edges of the frame is meant to give things a dreamy feel but comes across as a cheap, and cheaply employed trick. Similarly, the score inspires annoyance more than the somberness it seems to be going for. The pace is also a bit clunky. Most bothersome is that the acting leaves much to be desired. In the lead, Chris Kelly is fine and, surprisingly, so is Quinn Hunchar as his daughter. Even the bad guys are pretty good, in a creepy emotionless way. Unfortunately, our heroes are a mostly wooden lot.

Due to the fact that the movie is very well written by Jamin Winans, who also directed, Ink manages to survive its faults. More than that, it goes about it’s business in a manner different enough that it deserves to be seen. As proof of this, it has developed a cult following since it’s release. People who praise it are hooked by the wonderful story-telling. And it all leads to an ending that works as an intriguing revelation, giving us something to discuss which is always good.


  1. I like this one! Not necessarily a great one, but I love how father and daughter relationship are explored in a surreal way. And the third act when Ink's identity is unraveled is uplifting. Nice write-up!

    1. It most certainly is. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks!