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In an attempt to save their failing marriage, Burt and Vicky, are driving to California for vacation. As they drive through rural Nebraska, they accidentally run over a young boy who ran onto the road. Upon examination of the body, Burt discovers the boy’s throat had been slit and he was bleeding to death before he was hit.
After arguing over where to take the body, Burt decides to go to Gatlin, a small, isolated community which is right down the road.
When they finally arrive in Gatlin, it appears to be a ghost town. As they explore the town and visit a gas station and an empty lunchroom, the couple notice that everything is out of date.
Vicky starts to get a bad feeling about the town and wants to leave, but Burt insists that they keep going until they find the police station. When they finally reach the center of town, they find no one there either.