QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded


Knowing nothing about this but that it was recommended for me by Netflix, I watched this film. From the image of the box cover I was expecting an Asian animated film. I was totally wrong. Then for the first half-hour of the film I was wondering what's going on.

This is a film that makes extensive use of dream sequences, occaisonal flash backs, and is narrated from several points of view. The story concerns two groups of dream makers fighting for the life of a small girl. The Storytellers put good dreams in people's sleep, and the Incubi are responsible for nightmares. The title character is neither, but is working for the Incubi.

The story telling is a bit heavy-handed. Although the film is overall dark in nature and scenes have a color wash to help classify them, there are no moral grays here, it's all black-and-white good-evil. Visually is is fairly clever. The Incubi have very odd masks that look something like television screens. None of the regular Storytellers or Incubi can do much to influence the world. They can put dreams in people's heads and the Incubi are shown whispering like the devil on someone's shoulder. So when the two fight, anything they destroy in the battle repairs itself immediately afterwards. Land on a table and break it? As soon as the person moves off the table jumps up and fixes itself.

This seems like the sort of movie that would appeal to a fan of The Dark Crystal or Mirrormask. There's an alternate world with different projections of people (awake verus asleep), a big good versus evil battle, and a child-like bluntless to much of the story. Unlike those films, this is unrated but would probably warrant an R due to language and violence. The opening scene starts with a character screaming "fuck" repeatedly while driving, and then his car gets side- swiped while we watch from inside. Nothing too much for a modern teenager, but not what the MPAA considers PG-13.

Reportedly the makers of the film "embraced the piracy" and this is available easily for torrent download.

Three magical drums out of five.

Ink at IMDB

Mirrormask at IMDB

The Dark Crystal at IMDB

Final thought: there's probably A Christmas Carol connection that could be made, too