Arts and Entertainment

Screening Room | The coolest movie you're not watching

Jamin Winans
Jamin Winans 'Ink' is being heralded as the indie world's Next Big Thing.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

You probably haven’t seen “Ink.”

If you have, I assume two things about you.

One: You are now privy to a film that rivals Peter Jackson in mind-bending scope, that challenges the visual prowess of a Guillermo del Toro creation.

And two: You’re a pirate. (One of the Internet, not the wooden leg, variety.)

But Denver-based filmmaker Jamin Winans, the man behind “Ink,” doesn’t mind. He even went so far as to thank web torrent users for the movie’s sudden recent surge in profile.

The story isn’t all that unique: A movie is made and turned down by large studios, who say it’s too far out of the box to be widely marketable. But in the case of “Ink,” things didn’t stop there. Within 24 hours of its internet leak this fall, it became the No. 1 downloaded movie, with nearly 200,000 downloads and rave reviews rapidly following. It quickly overcame buzz surrounding “Paranormal Activity,” a shoestring indie-horror flick sent to the big screen in October.

“Ink” is a low-budget dark fantasy, a tale about dreams that’s as new and edgy as it is deeply human. In it, a young girl is taken during her sleep by an other-dimensional mercenary named Ink, who plans to trade her for a place among the ranks of those who give nightmares. A pawn, Ink becomes caught between those dark forces and the ones who give dreams, who appear magically with a crackling pop and bright flash of light. They enter houses silently in the night, bringing with them visions of happiness. They are ragged hipsters, an awesome band of fighters for the cause of hope. Though they cross dimensions in search of the girl, whose still-sleeping body slips into a coma, it is her tense, over-worked father who must save her — and his own soul.

It’s a great achievement for Winans, and causes wonder at what he could create with an actual budget, taking into account the stunning effects “Ink” offers. The movie’s fight scenes mesmerize, their raw edges singe with action.

“Ink” is now available on DVD, along with a host of other “Ink”-related merchandise, at Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, Blockbuster and DoubleEdgeFilms.com.

Here’s hoping Winans stays firmly outside the box, and studio execs smarten up enough to meet him there.

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