Kristen wakes up in the bed of a pickup truck and tries to escape, only to be knocked unconscious by the man driving it.
College students James and Will pick up Will's girlfriend Brooke and her friend Jenna as well as Brooke's protective older brother Kyle. The group drives to Madison County, in order to meet David Randall, the author of a book based on a murderer named Damien Ewell. David has been in contact with James and has agreed to an interview for a class assignment. On the way they meet a trucker who suggests a shortcut which they don't take.
Once they arrive in Madison County, North Carolina, they go to a diner and the locals rudely stare at them except for a seemingly kind old woman named Erma who tells them Damien Ewell doesn't exist and David Randall moved years ago but she does tell them David's old address. When they leave, Will is threatened by a local for unintentionally taking a picture of his truck; the local backs off when Kyle confronts him.
The group arrives at David's house and finds it is indeed empty. Kyle takes James' SUV back into town to talk to the locals while the others wait at the house. Kyle checks a graveyard and is lured into the woods by two nude women. Kyle catches up to the women, who skinny-dip in a lake; distracted, Kyle doesn't notice Damien Ewell sneak up on him and Damien stabs Kyle and throws his body into the lake.
James discovers a picture confirming the old woman, Erma, is Damien's mother so he walks back into town and on the way he is nearly run over by the hostile local who earlier threatened Will. Will and Brooke are hiking and split up; once alone, Will sees Kyle's body floating in a nearby river and shortly after Damien appears and kills Will and chases after Jenna and Brooke. Jenna and Brooke try to hide from Damien until Jenna decides to distract him away from Brooke, and after a brief fight Jenna is killed.
James confronts Erma, who warns him that Damien will be coming for him soon. James leaves and the trucker from earlier who told him about the shortcut offers him a ride and tells James that he is David Randall. David drives James to Damien's house and knocks him out with a shovel.
James wakes up in a barn tied up along with David and his daughter Kristen, the girl from the beginning. David says he was forced to lure James and his friends to Madison County in an attempt to save the kidnapped Kristen. Damien enters the barn and stabs David in the stomach but James manages to free himself and wound Damien. James, Kristen, and the wounded David leave the barn and try to leave in a truck but Damien jumps into the bed of the truck and finishes off David, who had been lying there. James slams on the brakes and knocks Damien out of the truck's bed and after a brief fight, James and Kristen escape in the truck.
Brooke walks back into town and arrives at the diner where she tells Erma that someone killed her friends. Erma tells her to wait outside by her car. While Brooke stands by Erma's car, Erma sneaks up behind her and stabs her to death as locals watch from their homes.
Only logged in users may leave a review.