Monday, October 17, 2011

Ashes (2010)

Fear 3/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 4/5
Creepiness 3/5

Ashes is an interesting take on the infection/apocalyptic/end of the world scenario type of a film. While it contains the standard tropes associated with these types of films (something begins to infect mankind, people get sick, turn into something else and/or die, etc.) it's the notion behind it and the larger forces at play to make sure the whole of humanity is wiped out, that makes it so startling and stark. This isn't a happy one folks. There is no sunny outlook or Hollywood ending to be found.

Our story begins when a young boy finds a a group of jelly fish that have washed up on a local beach. Attempting to handle one of the creatures he's stung and falls to the ground. The next time we see him, he's in the care of a highly specialized doctor (Brian Krause) as the doc frantically tries to find out what it is that's caused this boy's comatose state.

We come to learn that the doc is highly regarded in his field. Along with being the head physician and with the aide of his trusted lab geek (Kadeem Hardison, yes that Kadeem Hardison), he's developed a serum which has seen great success in reversing the affects of AIDS. A patient who frequents the hospital, has seen a near complete reversal of his symptoms. And because of the work that's been done, the government has now taken a strong interest in his work.

The all-out, god-like nature of the doctor becomes his undoing as he thinks his serum is a cure-all and injects the boy with it. After a brief reaction and subsequent biting of the doctor's arm, the boy falls back to his bed and expires. The doctor covers up the incident but his patient doesn't stay dead for long.

Along with the boy, our full-on obsessive doctor becomes something else. In between trying to perfect on his serum and finding out what it is that's infected the boy, his bite grows worse and we eventually see him turn into a flesh hungry shell of his former self.  If that wasn't enough, he's brought his infection home and his wife has now inherited the same penchant.

Here is where things get interesting: the interfering government and the man who's sent to take over the doctor's work reveals his true intentions. I won't play the spoils here but the rationale is interesting without getting too heavy-handed. Along with that is the notion of a virus instigated by nature which makes story altogether more enjoyable than your typical end of the world fare.

Ashes is still making festival rounds but keep your eyes peeled. It's a unique and intense infection film that is well worth your time.

You can check the trailer out via the film's website:

Cortez the Killer


Sir Phobos said...

Kadeem Hardison? Count me in. I've been waiting to see him again ever since Vampire in Brooklyn.

Seriously, this does sound really cool. I didn't watch the trailer yet, but your description seems to be enough to make me want to see it. Yea, there are a lot of zombie/apocalypse movies, but if a movie is done well, it could go a long way. I'll keep this one in mind.

Cortez The Killer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Planet of Terror said...

Most definitely good sir. Keep your peepers peeled. It's fantastic.

Punkenglish said...

Great review, as usual. Gonna watch this one ASAP.

Chris Hallock said...

Excellent take on quite a potent film. My only complaint is that the party scene went on overly long. I know it was a chance to further develop some already sharply defined characters, but still found it a bit excessive.

Still, a great film and a good entry in the "viral outbreak zombie" canon.

Planet of Terror said...

@Punk English, thank you good sir.

@Chris, thank you x2. I agree, that scene was awkward and it didn't really fit. Completely throw away. My only gripe in an otherwise fantastic film.