Ink (2009) - Plot Summary Poster

(I) (2009)


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  • A mysterious creature, known as Ink, steals a child's soul in hopes of using it as a bargaining chip to join the Incubi - the group of supernatural beings responsible for creating nightmares.

  • As the light fades and the city goes to sleep, two forces emerge. They are invisible except for the power they exert over us in our sleep, battling for our souls through dreams. One force delivers hope and strength through good dreams; the other infuses the subconscious with desperation through nightmares. John and Emma, Father and Daughter are wrenched into this fantastical dream world battle, forced to fight for John's soul and to save Emma from an eternal nightmare. Separate in their journey, they encounter unusual characters that exist only in their subconscious. Or do they?

  • When we go to sleep, two forces battle for our dreams: the Storytellers, who give us good dreams; and the Incubi, who give us nightmares. Widower John Sullivan is estranged from his young daughter Emma, having been deemed unable to care for her. Now on the edge of a huge investment deal with a major corporation, he is unaware that he is being stalked by an Incubus. And on the city outskirts, a mysterious stranger named Ink snatches little Emma from her bed and escapes into the dream world, intent on selling her soul to the Assembly of the Incubi so that he may be allowed entry into their ranks. A small band of Storytellers realizes that the only way to save Emma is to reunite her with her father in the physical world, and they will do anything to make sure that this comes to pass.

  • Ink is the story of a troubled father and his relationship with his young daughter, his work life, and his own sense of being. Transcending our own reality and entering the dreamlike mirror realities of the Storytellers and the Incubus, Ink explores how you can forget yourself and end up feeling trapped as someone who you never thought you'd become. It is a powerful tale of love, loss and regret.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The film begins with a business man in a hurry to get into his car, he appears to be stressed and somewhat distraught. He gets in and starts down the city streets, screaming suddenly at the top of his lungs before a truck running a red light crashes into him. As he falls unconscious, he dreams of playing with his little girl Emma. At first he is stern and hesitant to play with her, but he gives in when she pretends to be taken away by monsters and runs to save her from them. The dream then fades to black.

    It is revealed that people exist on a plane different from our own. There are warriors called Storytellers, who provide people with their most wonderful dreams with a touch to their foreheads, and there are the Incubi, spirits fashioned from vanity who veil their faces with screens to reflect an artificial eternal happiness, whose shadows provide people adversely with nightmares. But this night a new being, a drifter called Ink appears. And despite the best effort from several Storytellers, he successfully kidnaps Emma from her home, leaving her physical body in a comatose state. However, the drifter's drum was damaged in the fight, and without the code was not able to open the portal to a realm he was intending on leading the girl.

    Meanwhile, John, a businessman whose life has attained a sense of repetition and perfection, faces turmoil when an account he had been working to acquire is about to be swept out from under his feet, but he is determined to turn the problem around. Ron, his estranged father in law, comes to tell John that Emma is in a coma in the hospital. Despite the visible strain to his conscience he maintains a stern attitude and it is revealed that after his wife's death, her parents took custody of Emma because of John's drug and alcohol abuse due to his grief. He throws Ron out of his office but something dark appears to loom over him as he does.

    Meanwhile, the three Storytellers who are responsible for Emma, Allel and two of her companions, Gabe and Sarah along with a blind Pathfinder named Jacob, decide to find a way to physically bring Emma out of her coma. A fourth ally, a Storyteller named Liev, attempts to dissuade Ink from delivering the girl to the Incubi in order to become one himself. The code he is required to obtain in order to access their headquarters is held by two other Drifters that he must find and barter with to acquire their parts of the code. After a fight between the two of them, Liev surrenders to Ink to save Emma's life. While enroute, Liev tries to bolster Emma's bravery by telling her that she is turning into a ferocious lioness. After Ink successfully barters with the two Drifters, Liev slowly works into his emotions. She discovers that he does in fact have a conscience and a soul, but due to his violent death by suicide, he arrived in this world hideous and scarred, and desperate to let go of his pain, which, he believes, becoming an Incubus would help him do. However, he resists each attempt to break through. They make their way to the Incubi's stronghold, offering Emma and Liev as his payment to become one of them. Liev tells Emma she has completely transformed into a lioness, and that she has to be ferocious and brave. As Liev stands up to the leader of the Incubi, she is stabbed and mortally wounded.

    Jacob unveils his abilities to the others, tapping into what he calls the "beat of the world" in order to affect physical changes. Through a chain of events, he causes several small accidents to culminate in a truck running a red light and as in the beginning of the film, crashing into John's car. As a result, they are able to scare off the Incubus who had been whispering dark thoughts into John's subconscious and he is taken to the same hospital where Emma is being held. After he awakens and realizes that she is close by, he overcomes his urge to go to the important sales meeting, remembering the happiness of his life before his wife was killed in a car accident memories that the dark forces on his shoulder kept him from and with Allel protecting him, he heads to Emma's room. Incubi appear and the warriors fight them off to keep them from reaching him again. Meanwhile, Jacob volunteers to go out and activate a device, calling the other Storytellers for reinforcement. John finally makes his way to Emma's room to sit beside her.

    As the course of the past, present and future are affected by John's return to Emma, Ink suddenly has a realization; memories come flooding back to him of his successful meeting for the account he had been trying to get for his company, if he had been able to make it. Emma dies in the hospital, John drifts out of touch, into a world of loneliness. His depression increases until he commits suicide by shooting himself in the head. He falls into the astral world a broken shell of his former self. Ink hears Liev whisper his name "John" and she dies. As his memories return, Ink rushes at the Incubi attacking them and rescues his daughter, much like the dream at the beginning of the movie. He stands and faces them, killing each one as they approach her, while at the hospital the Storytellers overcome the Incubi. After the fight is done, Emma recognizes Ink as her dad and they embrace.

    In the hospital, Emma awakens to find her father holding her hand. The pair share a hug while the Storytellers who had defeated the Incubi stand in the doorway, unseen but victorious.

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