Film Review: Inkling

Inkling is a British independent short film, written and directed by Wayne Kelly. In this dramatic thriller, shy loner, Joanne (Rachel Nottingham) takes kind stranger, Declan (Joe Hughes) back to her flat. But Declan knows Joanne better than she thinks and has a burning secret of his own.

The film opens with a short, mysterious scene, showing Declan’s back. The next scene is very creative, shot at a low angle, showing the couple’s legs, as they walk together. The original score (George Odom), creates a thrilling atmosphere, and serves as a hint to the dark subject matter. Later on, the score becomes minimalistic, letting the characters tell the story and create the drama.

In the following scenes, we meet the characters, as Joanne hesitantly invites Declan to her apartment. While we don’t know much about Declan, Joanne is revealed as a lonely person, who recently completed her draft novel. Declan's character is disturbing from the very first moment. Is he a stalker? Why did he choose Joanne?

* Spoiler Alert * The biggest plot twist happens right after Declan comes back from the bathroom. From that point, the rules will change forever. Declan finally reveals who he really is, and what he’s been up to, A terrifying tattoo is moving on Declan’s body. If that’s not scary/weird enough, the tattoo shows Joanne’s face. This dark turn leads to the climax, and an inevitable tragedy.

In terms of originality and creativity, Wayne Kelly and his team should be very proud of their achievement. The story is original, with surprising plot twists, and thrilling moments. The final scene perfectly connects to the opening scene, making a nice closure. The performances are very good. The chemistry between Rachel Nottingham and Joe Hughes works well too. It’s easier to connect to Joanne’s character, even though she’s weaker than Declan. Even if the ending remains as it is now, we wish that her character’s strength would be equal to Declan’s in the climax, giving her the chance to fight back, at least.

The cinematography (Matt Holt) and the editing (Wayne Kelly) serve the story well. While some shots in Joanne's flat could be more creative and aesthetic, the camera work in the second scene (street) is fantastic, and the cuts in the climax add a lot of tension. In addition, the visual tattoo effects by Ali T. Khan are simply stunning.

In conclusion, Inkling is a genre film- it will be appreciated by thriller/horror fans who like courageous independent films. Inkling was nominated for Best Drama at Festigious (November 2019).

Inkling - Trailer

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