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Right to Die - Recap

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A dentist, Cliff Addison, and his wife Abbey are driving home. She smokes what she claims is her last cigarette, and Cliff is surprised to learn she’s quitting. He says that he wants her to be around for a long time and insists that he loves her. He tries to apologize and says he’s never going to let her go. Abbey unfastens her seat belt and reaches in the back to show him something, and they come on a tree across the road. The car crashes and Cliff slowly recovers consciousness after his air bag goes off. He realizes that the car is upside down, and calls out to Abbey. He gets out and finds her lying on the ground as gas from the tank leaks onto her. She tells Cliff to get her cell and call an ambulance. As he picks it up and calls 911, the gas ignites, burning her as Cliff looks on in horror.

Later, Cliff comes to see Abbey at the hospital. She is totally shrouded in bandages and on life support. Dr. Loring says that Abbey isn’t conscious, and that with the damage to her nerves she doesn’t see or feel anything. Outside, the doctor warns that they’re try to operate, but warns that she won’t be able to speak. Loring tries to put a good spin on things, but Cliff says that Abbey wouldn’t have wanted to live like that. The doctor advises him to get an attorney if that’s his choice, and until then they’ll do everything to keep her alive.

Cliff meets with his lawyer, Ira, and asks him if it’s the right thing to do to shut off Abbey’s life support. Ira insists that Abbey always admired beauty and wouldn’t have wanted to live like she is now. The lawyer says that whatever his decision, Cliff shouldn’t feel guilty. Cliff admits that he was cheating on Abbey and that was the last thing he did for her, but Ira says that he has to be strong and that’s the best gift he can give her.

Cliff goes home and looks at a music box of a bride and groom. As he watches it play, a nearby glass falls off the table, seemingly by itself. As he makes supper, he remembers the hours before the accident, when Abbey found his cell phone with video of his mistress. The pan on the stove boils over and Cliff goes to move it, and sees the words “Wake Me” written on the wall in the steam.

At the hospital, Abbey flatlines.

At home, Cliff is soaking in the hot tub. A clock flashes the word “hello,” and footsteps appear in the water on the tiles. Cliff looks up and finds Abbey in the tub with him. She smiles and starts to make love to him. As they reach climax together, Abbey’s skin burns off and she clutches Cliff as blood and pus ooze over him.

At the hospital, the doctors revive Abbey.

Cliff finds himself alone in the tub. His body is covered in sunburns from her touch, including his genitalia. He calls Ira, who dismisses it as a sex dream and stress. The lawyer points out that Abbey is in a coma and couldn’t have left her hospital. Cliff insists that Abbey is relentless when she’s mad, but Ira says that there’s no such thing as ghosts, and even if there was, Abbey isn’t dead.

Once Cliff hangs up, he hears a knock at the door. He answers it and finds his mother-in-law Pam at the door. She demands to know if he’s going to pull the plug on her daughter, and Cliff says that it’s Abbey’s wishes. Pam doesn’t believe it and promises to destroy him for killing her daughter and inheriting her money. Cliff says he has no idea what she’s talking about, but Pam storms off.

The next morning, Cliff hears a news broadcast from the hospital. Reporter James Henry is interviewing Pam, who insists that Cliff was abusive and probably drunk when the accident happens. She insists that Abbey would want to live, and it’s up to God who lives and who dies. As Cliff leaves home, he discovers that someone has painted “murderer” on his door. When he arrives at his dental practice, he discovers that people have left dozens of messages for him, some in support and some against. His assistant, Trish, comes in and asks where he’s been. Cliff points out that he’s been at the hospital, and Trish reminds him that Abbey fired him and now she’s behind on her condo payments. He reminds her that she said he was a mercy fuck, but Trish claims she was kidding. She asks for her job back and Cliff agrees, but says they can’t be together anymore. Trish agrees and says that he’s a good guy.

Cliff meets with Ira, who warns that Pam has a senator backing her cause. He figures that they can sue the car manufacturer because Abbey’s air bag didn’t go off. If Pam has Cliff removed as legal custodian, she’ll take control and get the money. Ira has hired a PR firm and got the senator’s rival on the case, and warns Cliff that Pam won’t back out. Cliff wonders if Ira knew all about this when he advised him to pull the plug, and Ira takes offense.

A few days later, Trish is tending to a patient and watching an earlier recording of Cliff on the news insisting he’s doing the right thing. When he comes in, Trish asks him if he’s going to get the $10 million. As Cliff tends to his patient and gives him some nitrous oxide, she starts to flirt with Cliff. The phone rings and Cliff hastily goes to answer it. Ira informs him that the judge will put the Do Not Resuscitate order into effect in 48 hours. Cliff says that he’ll meet Ira at the hospital in an hour, and Ira tells him to bring flowers.

Ira visits the unconscious Abbey to say goodbye, and admits that he’s happy he can buy a boat with the legal fees from her case. He takes out a flask and offers her a toast, and Abbey seems to look up at him. Ira goes outside and meets Cliff, who wants some time alone with his wife. The lawyer goes to the cafeteria and Cliff goes to Abbey’s bedside. He leans down to kiss her and she jerks, scratching his lip with her teeth. Abbey flatlines and the medics come in to revive her. They explain that it isn’t the first time, and the second time was when he was in the hot tub. As he waits outside in the hall, Cliff sees the lights flickers and turns to find Abbey standing next to him. She disappears after a moment.

In another hallway, Ira is making a call when an orderly tells him that cell phones aren’t allowed. Ira goes into the MRI scanning room to make his call in private. He’s unaware that Abbey is in the control booth. The cell phone burns out and Ira throws it to the ground. The MRI activates and blood flows over the controls. Ira’s glasses and cell phone are yanked out of his hand, and then the coins and keys in his pocket. The MRI magnet pulls his wristwatch and wedding ring, and Ira along with it, into the door to the main chamber. He manages to pull his finger free, but is still pinned by his wristwatch. Ira turns and sees the spirit of Abbey’s charred corpse crawling toward him. He finally pulls himself free, but Abbey gestures and Ira bursts into flame. Cliff hears the screams and runs to the chamber, but is too late to do anything as Ira falls to the ground, dead. As the medics come in, Abbey’s ghost watches from the control booth.

Dr. Loring and her team revive Abbey. Cliff comes in and insists that she has to live. Loring warns that her wounds are retracting and if they don’t find a skin donor, Abbey will be dead by 6 a.m. the next morning. He then goes out, kisses Pam, and admits that she’s right and he’s made a terrible mistake and he’s rescinding the DNR. He offers to give the money from the settlement to anyone who can serve as a donor.

When Cliff returns home, he finds Trish waiting for him, dressed to kill and holding a bottle of champagne. She figures he doesn’t plan to give the money away, and Clint says he needs some time to figure things out. He figures that Abbey will get revenge on him if she dies. As he starts to drink, Trish kisses him and he tries to pull away. Trish undresses and dares him to have his way with her. Cliff tells her that she’s fired and to get out, but finally gives in and throws her on the counter to have sex.

Later, it’s 2 a.m. and Cliff is still awake. He says that they’ll know what will happen with Abbey in four hours. Trish insists that nothing will happen and bets him a million dollars, but he says that if she’s wrong, he’ll be dead. She goes to get another bottle of wine and Cliff remembers Abbey locking herself in her e says that he’s cleared the weekend for her and suggests they go for a drive like old time. She’s agrees and comes out. The photo of Abbey falls off of the dresser next to the bed. His cell phone rings and he answers: it’s Trish, sending photos of herself nude from the kitchen. She’s unaware that Abbey’s charred corpse is crawling up behind her. Cliff runs out to the kitchen as Trish screams. The word “skin” is burned into the cupboard. Trish runs into his arms and she begs Cliff to protect her. She now agrees with Cliff that Abbey has to live no matter what, and he has to stop her. When Trish goes to get her stuff, Cliff knocks her over the head with a wine bottle.

At his office, Cliff straps Trish to the dentist’s chair and administers nitrous oxide. He’s removed her clothing and covered her in cut marks, and explains that she has to be alive so the skin will be fresh. Cliff begins cutting and she screams in pain until he turns up the gas, rendering her insensate until he has removed everything except her face... and then he removes that as well.

As Cliff drives to the hospital with the skin in an organ donor case, he listens to a radio broadcast discussing Abbey’s case. He thinks back to what really happened the night of the accident.

Just before the accident, Abbey lights her last cigarette, and Cliff apologizes. She reaches into the back and shows him a pregnancy test stick, and informs him that she’s having his baby. Cliff is thrilled, and realizes that’s why she’s quitting smoking. When he says they’ll be a family, Abbey says that it’s too late and she won’t let him near the baby. She tells Cliff that she’s cutting him off because of what he did to her, and then they go off the road. This time, Cliff remembers that he cancelled the 911 call and then used her lighter to ignite the gas and burn her.

Distracted, Cliff almost hits the same tree again. He swerves and the case falls off the luggage rack. He pulls over and hears a siren approaching, but the police car goes right by without noticing. Cliff packs the skin and the body parts and drives to the hospital. With 15 minutes to spare, he takes the leaking organ case. He goes to Abbey’s room, but Loring tells him that Abbey died last night. Shocked, he leaves and drives back home.

Cliff pulls up to the house and throws the skin in the garbage. He puts the can on the curb and walks up to the door, which opens. Abbey’s ghost is there, waiting for him. Resigned, he wipes his feet and goes inside.