Brothers Patrick and Andrew Sullivan specialize in sterilizing crime scenes after homicides, suicides, and bio-hazardous events. The unrelenting violence in Chicago is great for business, but threatens to shatter the lives and sanity of everyone it touches.
Synopsis:With the poignancy of a character-driven drama and the tension of a great thriller, Ashes follows the lives of three men (and everyone around them) who specialize in sterilizing crime scenes after gruesome homicides, suicides, and events deemed bio-hazardous. Brothers Patrick and Andrew Sullivan operate the business alongside their irascible cohort Manny, the only person they’ve hired who can seemingly handle the job. The crew is in constant search of a fourth member as the business grows, and the job becomes more taxing. The work quickly begins to affect each man’s personal life. Andrew begins suffering nightmarish hallucinations, further fueling the concern of his wife Allison who wants nothing more than to protect not only her husband from having to deal with the psychological toll of mopping up after people’s deaths, but also their seven year old son Max. Even outside of work, Patrick is all about business, rarely dropping his professional veneer. He pushes people away, and drowns his pain in the bottom of a bottle. He and Allison have never gotten along and butt heads whenever they meet. Though younger than Patrick and Andrew, Manny seems less effected by the job. To him, it’s nothing more than a well-paying gig, allowing him to provide for himself, his sister, and her son Billy. A seemingly inevitable breakdown proceeds after one particularly troublesome day for the crew. Andrew and Manny enter a house where a corpse had been left for over six months while Patrick arrives at a separate scene to help clean up after a particularly horrifying domestic abuse incident. These two events push the men over the edge. Andrew’s hallucinations grow worse as he suffers a very public meltdown. Patrick visits the grave of his father, and viciously attacks it, hitting and clawing at the tombstone as he has visions of a man beating a child. Manny decides to drink away the memory of the afternoon at a bar when he is interrupted by a businessman who has seemingly just lost everything. Believing he has seen far worse, Manny suggests how the businessman can end his difficulties for good. Death is a 24/7 business, and Manny and Patrick quickly arrive at a new scene, where it comes as a pleasant surprise to Manny that the businessman had followed the plan he’d laid out. Afterwards, Patrick visits Andrew to find out why he didn’t show up for work. Allison quickly jumps to Andrew’s defense, all of Allison and Patrick’s previous conflicts coming to a head in front of a seemingly mute and numb Andrew. Meanwhile, Manny arrives home to find his sister has moved out of his house in order to protect her son from Manny’s ever darker influence. This abandonment pushes his descent further and makes him seek comfort from his work. All of these events threaten not only the business, but also the fragile mental state of everyone involved.