Boardwalk Empire's Michael Shannon stars as Curtis LaForche who lives in a small Ohio town with his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and six-year-old daughter Hannah (Tova Stewart), who is deaf. Curtis makes a modest living as a crew chief for a sand-mining company. Samantha is a stay-at-home mother who supplements their income by selling handmade wares at the flea market each weekend. Money is tight, and navigating Hannah's healthcare and special needs education is a constant struggle. Despite that, Curtis and Samantha are very much in love and their family is a happy one.
Then Curtis begins having terrifying dreams about an encroaching, apocalyptic storm. He chooses to keep the disturbance to himself, channelling his anxiety into the obsessive building of a storm shelter in their backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behaviour concerns and confounds Samantha, and provokes intolerance among co-workers, friends and neighbours. But the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within the community doesn't compare to Curtis's private fear of what his dreams may truly signify.
Faced with the proposition that his disturbing visions signal disaster of one kind or another, Curtis confides in Samantha, testing the power of their bond against the highest possible stakes.