Based on the horrifying crimes discovered in Snowtown, Australia in 1999, where police found dismembered bodies rotting in barrels. Elizabeth Harvey is raising her three boys in Adelaide's poor northern suburbs. After her latest boyfriend displays pedophilic tendencies she takes up with a new man, hoping for security but instead winds up welcoming an even more vicious predator into her home. John Bunting is the moral compass among a circle of friends who hold self-appointed neighborhood watch meetings at the kitchen table. Fueled by cigarettes and beer they cast judgments on those living around them. Bunting enlists his crew in acts of sadistic vigilantism on those he considers deviants and takes Elizabeth's son Jamie under his wing. In a mix of misdirected hero worship and terror, Jamie becomes an accomplice to a spree of torture and murder.