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Ashes on My Pillow Recap

Jillian and Tom Hodgson move into their new home and make love in it for the first time.

That night, the couple toast their home as they have supper. Jillian says that she doesn't like roses because they're dishonest, and Tom says that his father knew he was going to raise a family there so he put a lot of work into it. His mother gave it to them as a wedding present, and they kiss. Something makes a noise in the basement, and the couple go downstairs to investigate. The basement is filled with old family items, including a trunk with a photo of the two of them as children.

Tom hears another noise and follows the sound, and a dog walks out of the shadows. It goes up the stairs and Jillian chases after it. Tom goes after her.

The next day, the Hodgson paint the interior as the dog looks on. They make sex and plays Rocks Scissors Paper to determine who will walk the dog. Jillian thinks that the dog looks just like a stuffed animal that she had as a child.

As Jillian renovates the garden, Tom and his partner Jason break down the walls. The neighbor Ian returns home and Jillian waves briefly to him. He waves back and goes inside. That night, Jillian and Tom have dinner with Jason and his wife Stephanie. Tom says that it's weird to come back to the house that she grew up in, and describes the trunk that Jillian found downstairs. He describes the stories that Jillian used to make up as a child with a juggler clown named Pretzel Jack. Jillian explains that she read about contortionists and drew stories involving him.

The next day, Jillian goes shopping and sees Tom arguing with a woman, Sarah Winters. The woman walks off and Jillian ducks back before Tom can see her watching. Tom comes over and nods to her briefly.

Tom and Jillian return home and Jillian finds a letter addressed to her and sent by Bill Hope. She tears it up and Tom asks her what's wrong, Jillian asks him who Sarah was, and Tom says that they redid Sarah and her husband's master bedroom and she wasn't happy with the work. His wife asks if Tom slept with her, and Tom insists that he's not her father and he's not going to do with her. Tom angrily says that even if he slept with her, it would have been in the past. He invites Jillian to call up Sarah and confirm what he's saying, and Jillian says nothing.

That night, Jillian apologizes to Tom. He apologizes for snapping at her. They kiss and go to bed. As Jillian sleeps, she moans in her sleep. The light in the hallway flickers.

The next morning, Jillian goes to the kitchen and Tom calls her down to the basement. As she steps onto the stairs, Tom tells her to stay where she is and describe the fall wall. Jillian says that there was nothing on it, and Tom has her come down. There's now a door on the wall where there was blank space before: a plain blue-painted door. Tom says that he doesn't remember a door there when he grew up, takes a photo of it, tries the knob. It's doesn't move, and there's no keyhole and no air coming through the jam. Tom texts his mother, who says that there was no door there.

Tom calls Jason over, and he's unable to budge the door. There are no hinges to remove and the screws are hidden. Jason is sure that there was no door there before, and figures that they should open it. He takes an ax to it, and they can hear that it's hollow but he's unable to cut through the door. Jason gets a shotgun out of his car, tells the Hodgsons to get to the stairs and cover their ears, and tries to shoot out the lock. The lights flicker and go out, and when the Hodgsons find a flashlight, they discover that the knob is loose. Jillian tries to turn it but it comes out of the door. She peers into the hole but only sees darkness on the other side.

Jillian triggers the knob latch and they look through the door. There's a flight of stairs leading down, and the trio go down them. There's a similar door at the bottom with a white handprint on it. The knob doesn't budge, and Tom tries to work out where they are next to the neighbor. They go up and over to the neighbor, Ian. He points out that it's midnight, and Tom asks to see his breakfast. There's no door in the basement, and there are a lot of boxes. Ian says that it must belong to the people that he's renting from, the O'Connells, and he's never met them. Ian explains that he's working on a graduate degree in psychoogy, and asks if he can come over it and check it out. Tom vaguely says that he can sometimes and they leave.

The next day, the Hodgsons call in a locksmith to examine the door. He shrugs and leaves without being able to open it. Jason tries to shoot the knob off the second door but has no success. Ian watches the house from next door. Meanwhile, Jason is unable to cut through the door with a power saw, and Jillian sits and stares at the door. Tom joins her as Jillian hesitantly taps on the door. Once she leaves, something knocks back.

Jilllian meets with her therapist, Abel Carnacki. Abel asks why she's so upset by the door, and has Jillian talk about her parents. He points out that she's had trust issues in the past, and Jillian says that Tom has made phone calls at night when she wasn't around, and saw Tom arguing with Sara. Abel suggests that she confront Tom, and tells her that secrets and distrust commonly eat away at a marriage. He tells Jillian that she has to discuss her suspicions with Tom rather than let them fester. Jillian wants to call the number Tom has been calling, and Abel asks if she loves Tom. She says that she does love him but doesn't trust him, and Abel tells her that her parents were an anomaly and their relationship doesn't have to cast a shadow on hers.

Jillian returns home and finds Tom leaving. He says that he has to run by Jason's, kisses her, and leaves. Jillian follows him and watches from the street as Tom goes inside, meets with a woman, and they walk out of sight. Returning home, Jillian pours herself a drink and hears something in the basement. She goes down to the second door. She puts her hand to the handprint, and the door opens. She opens it and finds a vast room inside. Jillian's flashlight goes out briefly, and when it comes back on she trains it around the room and sees a clown--Pretzel Jack--standing in the corner. Jack turns and runs past Jillian out the door.

The police come and they assume that the clown broke into the house. Jillian sees Ian in his driveway and goes over to apologize for the disturbance. He asks Jillian if she believes that some people and places are just special. Ian then apologizes for weirding her out, hopes that it gets sorted out, and goes back in.

The Hodgsons go to bed and Tom asks Jillian if she wants to go to a hotel. Jillian refuses to leave their house, and Tom looks at the knife that Jillian put on the end table.

The next day, Jillian talks to Tom on the phone about their business. Once she hangs up, Jillian remembers Tom talking to Sarah at the store and calls the number. A woman answers and says that she's Sarah, and Jillian says that she's Tom wife. Sarah tells her to keep Tom away from her or she'll get a restraining order, and hangs up.

That night, Jillian is sitting at the table in the dark when Tom comes in and asks what's going on. She says that she called Sarah, points out that he called her five days, and asks if she's pursuing him. Tom tells her that her anxiety is coming from them moving back there, says that he needs some time, and leaves. Behind Jillian, Jack watches her briefly and then walks away.

Tom drives to the woman's house and she lets him in.

Jillian drives to Jason's house and asks if it's a bad time. He lets her in and Jillian and asks Jason if Jason if Tom is cheating on her. Jason immediately says that he isn't, and Jillian wonders why Tom would sneak out to a house and not tell her about it. Someone moves in the kitchen, and Jason goes out to investigate. There's no one there, and he assumes that something fell. Jason suggests that Jillian ask Tom about Sarah but insists that nothing is going on. He says that Jillian can't blame Tom for something her father did twenty years ago. The lights flicker and in the other room Jack picks up a screwdriver.

Jason tells Jillian that she's making up the calls, and he says that Jason might be too good for her. Jillian accuses Jason of trying to make her doubt herself, and Jason says that it's bad for her. She insists that Jason reacted when she mentioned Sarah. Jack jumps out and kills Jason. The two of them fijght but Jack overpowers Jason, stabs him through the hand with a screwdriver, and then jams it into Jason's face and hacks at him wildly. Jillian yells at Jack to stop, and Jack does so. He stands up, stares at her, and then contorts for her. Jack parades out of the room, and Jillian stares at Jason's corpse.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 27, 2018

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