A recent widower moves back home to restart his life, but he becomes the prime suspect in the death of his wife in Andrew Ericksen’s Toxicity. The widower is Desi (Aria Emory), and returning to his childhood home and mother, Rose (Vicky Dawson), was supposed to be a chance to get his life back on track. Instead, their strained relationship picks up right where they left off.
Years before, when Desi and wife Jade (Theresa Byron) first got married, their relationship seemed idyllic, but the two had drug problems. The story is Desi got his life cleaned up and had been sober for the last three years, but Jade continued to use, and now she’s dead. This story didn’t sit well with Jade’s parents as they asked police detective Lane (Kim McKissack) to investigate further.
Detective Lane discovers that poison was found in her bloodwork the night she died. Though the original cause of death was overdose (lazy police work), she was actually murdered. So Lane reopens the investigation, and the number one suspect is, of course, Desi.
“This story didn’t sit well with Jade’s parents as they asked police detective Lane to investigate further.”
Meanwhile, the fresh start for Desi and Rose is not going well. Word gets out that he is a suspect in Jade’s murder. Desi’s so frustrated that he begins hanging out with the wrong people and refuses to look for a legitimate job. Rose, on the other hand, becomes the subject of gossip from her upper-class friends—”Poor Rose and her drug-abusing son.”
Toxicity is such an appropriate title for writer/director Andrew Ericksen’s film as he explores how the people we allow in our lives have such significant influence in it, whether healthy or, in this case, toxic. We discover that for Desi, it was his wife Jade that may have been his gateway into a life of addiction and how at his lowest moment, Desi turns to his old friends from his past life for comfort. On the flip side, Rose’s “friends” may not be doing drugs, but their opinion of her guides her, and she acts in extreme ways to stay in those influential circles.