In this adapation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story of the same name, William Sanderson plays Joe Slaader - a mysterious mountain man being held in the Ulster County Asylum after the brutal murder of his family. Edward Eischel, a young intern (played by newcomer Fountain Yount), sees something more than just an inbred monster in this new inmate, however. Instead, he sees him as the harbinger of some greater and much darker force. With bodies piling up, his job in jeopardy, and his sanity hanging in the balance he gives in to his obsession with tapping into Joe's hidden power, risking all that he has along the way.