Paul Martin (Kier) is a novelist who rents out a secluded cottage in the British countryside in order to complete his new book, a pretentious sex romp. Plagued by recurring paranoid nightmares, he has split with his girlfriend Suzanne (Richmond) and is having problems writing his book. Paul employs a secretary, Linda Hindstatt (Hayden), to type the manuscript for him. Paul meets Linda at the railway station, where Linda is intimidated by a couple of youths, prompting Paul to give them a battering. After settling into the house, Linda takes a walk in a field where she is raped by the youths but soon gets revenge when she shoots them both with a shotgun. Meanwhile, Paul keeps having nightmares and all his advances on Linda are rejected. Linda insinuates herself into the household, displacing the housekeeper, Mrs. Aston. When a suspicious Mrs. Aston returns to the house at night, she is murdered: her throat slashed with a knife. As he and Linda work on completing the novel, Paul asks Suzanne to come back only to have Linda seduce her. As Linda and Suzanne have sex, Paul then crashes his car into a river, the brakes having been tampered with. Suzanne is murdered in the shower and everything erupts into a pandemonium of violence.