Welcome witches and warlocks,

Today I will be reviewing the horror short INK by writer/director Ashlea Wessel. To be describe the story, I will turn to the IMDB plot summary:

“A woman seeks penance and personal transformation through tattooing after surviving a devastating pregnancy. One night, drenched in booze and ink, her deepest fears threaten to consume her.”

From the opening shot we can already tell, the world this woman inhabits is in disarray as her personal bathroom has the lighting and cleanliness of a public latrine. The look immediately brings to mind thoughts of despair which clues us into the idea that she just no longer cares much about living. As things advance, the room seems to get even dirtier and her grip on life begins to wane.

Given the feelings that the design of the room brings up, it is not at all surprising to see our lead clutching a bottle of liquor. Between swigs of regret, it becomes clear that she is grappling with something deep and trying to numb her pain. When the circumstances of her traumatic pregnancy are finally revealed, it comes as a nice chock to the audience.

Without giving too much else away, I feel I should talk about the manifestation of this woman’s fear. The barely seen creature manages to be completely imposing just by being a gross exaggeration of her state and one of her coping mechanisms. By keeping the thing out of sight while also having it tied to her method of release, the monster not only invokes a sense of dread, but also has a personal element to it that is horrifying.

All in all, the look of this short alone is enough to justify giving it a watch. The design coupled with a sense of dread kept things interesting until the clever finale. Fans of Lovecraftian dread or punk rock horror should try this one on for size.

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