Small town professor Ed Saxon (Jeff Daniels) is having trouble sleeping. His wife hasn't come home and is feared missing. Unable to sleep and heavily induced on medication, Ed becomes haunted by the warped projections of his fragile and deteriorating mental state. Are the entries in his wife's diary confessing an affair real or augment of his imagination? Are the police right in making him a chief suspect? And if it's all a paranoid delusion, why is there a severed finger under the bureau in the bedroom?