Author Roger Cobb is a troubled man: he and his wife have separated, their only son Jimmy has disappeared without a trace, and his aunt has committed suicide by hanging. On top of everything else, he has been pressured by his publisher to write another book. To the chagrin of his fans and publisher, Roger plans a novel based on his experiences in the Vietnam War, instead of another horror story, as a way to purge himself of the horrors that he had experienced while there.
After his aunt's funeral, Roger decides to live inside her house to write instead of selling it, as recommended by the estate attorney. After moving in, Roger begins to have powerful graphic nightmares, including thoughts about his comrade, Big Ben, who died in Vietnam. In addition, strange phenomena spring forth from the house, haunting him in his waking hours. He tries communicating his fears to his next-door neighbor Harold Gorton who only thinks that Roger is crazy.
One night while investigating a noise coming from his late aunt's bedroom, Roger is attacked by a deformed monster inside the closet. Soon, more attacks occur: levitating garden tools attack him, his wife appears and transforms into a hideous hag-like creature to attack him (whom he believes he kills), and gremlin creatures attempt to kidnap a neighbor's child whom Roger is reluctantly babysitting. Eventually, the author discovers an entry into a sinister other-world through the bathroom medicine cabinet and is pulled into the darkness, where he fortuitously locates his lost son Jimmy.
Roger manages to escape with Jimmy but is soon confronted by an undead Big Ben who wants revenge on him; Ben was taken prisoner and tortured before dying, and he blames Roger for failing to kill him before he could be captured by the enemy. Roger confronts Ben, no longer afraid of his fears, and destroys him with a grenade as he and his son escape the burning house. In the end, he triumphantly glances back at the house while regaining control of his life and reunites with his wife and child.
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