Doctor Andrew Stanton (Brian Krause) is one busy doctor – he never seems to have any free time, being busy with either his patients at the local hospital or doing research on his new project – cure for AIDS.
His obsessiveness with work and research badly affects his private life, making him more and more distant from his family, a wife and daughter. Yet, Stanton’s problems are just beginning.
One day, a young boy is brought into the hospital, who seems to have been infected with some sort of new disease. The treatment does not help, and Stanton desperately fighting to keep the boy alive, injects him with his new cure, hoping that that will give the dying boy’s body a boost to keep on living. That didn’t help either, as the boy soon is proclaimed dead.
However, before dying, the boy manages to bite Stanton on the arm, while the doctors were struggling to keep him still. Stanton believes it is nothing serious, yet soon he is forced to deal with horrific consequences of that bite.
Unknowingly, by injecting the boy’s already infected organism with his “cure”, Stanton creates new aggressive bacteria that deteriorates the body and enrages the mind.
At the same time, government officials start visiting the hospital, and they seem to be very interested in Stanton’s medical research. Needless to say, they are yet unaware of the metamorphosis that Stanton is going through, and that is already becoming dangerous to everyone around…
Really no idea why the film is titled “Ashes”, yet what captures instantly here is the style of directing. Director Elias Matar at times makes us believe it is a documentary we are watching.
We closely follow Dr. Stanton and the rest of the hospital within long single takes, without extensive cuts to next scenes. Most of the time, the music in the background is absent, which only strengthens the film’s dark tone.
The film’s leading actors Brian Krause and Kadeem Hardison have both been in and out of the “I am famous” suit, yet in this case it seems like they really enjoy working on the material.
Their performances are believable, specially that of Krause. You cannot help but feel sorry for Dr. Stanton, who becomes victim of circumstances and his own will to succeed as a doctor.
“Ashes” is presented as a “living dead” movie on IMDB, which seems to be inaccurate, as the film is anything but cheesy, and it pretty much has nothing to do with zombies.
The same IMDB states the film was done for some $900,000, which is really low-budget, and for that kind of money, “Ashes” has definitely paid off.
The film won numerous awards, such as “Best Horror Feature” at Shriekfest 2010, “Best Horror Screenplay” at International Horror and Sci-Fi Festival, “Best Actor” at 2010 Maverick Movie Awards, “Best Special Effects Makeup” at 2010 Maverick Movie Awards.
Brian Krause can be ashamed of making “Camel Spiders”, but he better not be having the same feeling for “Ashes”, as the film turned out to be really good, and is definitely worth watching for anyone who likes low-budget horror movies.
BZFILM SCALE: 6/10
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