Tape 56/Main Story Arc
The film is an anthology of several stories, all of which feature "found footage". Each individual tape is framed by a story (titled "Tape 56") that follows a team of masked criminals that are sent by an unknown person to retrieve a VHS tape from a seemingly empty house. The movie starts by showing the crew breaking into dilapidated buildings and sexually harassing a young woman while holding back her boyfriend. They are later shown breaking into the house containing the tapes where they find a dead man that had been watching TV. As the team searches for the tape, one member stays behind to view a tape that was already in the VCR of the old man.
Between the shorts we are shown brief glimpses of the main arc. In one glimpse it is revealed that the dead man had moved during one of the shorts without the viewer noticing. The team later returns to the room containing the dead man, only to find that the original viewer has disappeared. The leader orders another man to watch the tape as they attempt to find the others. The leader returns later, only to discover that the second viewer has disappeared along with the dead man. He goes downstairs and discovers the decapitated remains of one of his men and is soon chased by the undead old man. The leader manages to make it upstairs where he falls down and is presumably killed by the old man, upon which point the VCR begins to play the final tape.
The short follows Shane, Patrick, and Clint, three friends who have rented a hotel room with the intent to have fun and bring women back for sex. Clint wears a pair of glasses with a hidden web cam inside of them to record the encounter. The three go to a local bar where Shane persuades two girls, Lily and Lisa, to return with them to the hotel room. Lily seems nervous, but agrees to go with them. Once there, Shane becomes angry when Lisa passes out before he can have sex with her. Lily seems attracted to Clint, who repeatedly goes to and from the bathroom because of a bad reaction to the drugs and alcohol he had earlier. Patrick attempts to have a threesome with Lily and Shane, but Lily refuses him. Clint returns to the bathroom where Patrick joins him and discovers that Lily has severely bitten Patrick's hand.
The two men peek out of the bathroom, and see Lily devour Shane alive. The two try to escape but are stopped by Lily, who kills and eats Patrick. Lily then transforms into a vampire-like creature. Clint makes it out of the room, but breaks his wrist after falling down the stairs. Lily confronts Clint but does not attack him, instead repeating that she likes him. When he does not respond favorably to her affections Lily hides in a corner and cries while Clint escapes. He attempts to ask for help from strangers around the hotel but is stopped by Lily, who has shown her true form as a winged succubus and carries Clint off into the sky. As he is being carried away, his web cam glasses fall to the ground.
A married couple, Sam and Stephanie, go out to the West for their second honeymoon and rent a hotel room. The couple visit a Wild West themed attraction where Stephanie receives a prediction from a mechanical fortune teller. The prediction says that she will be visited by a loved one. Later that night while at the hotel the couple is visited by a strange woman (the events are not shown on camera) who asks for a ride in the morning. Sam declines her request and the girl leaves later. When Sam and Stephanie go to sleep, an unseen camera wielder enters the room and silently watches them both and even softly touches Stephanie's skin with a switchblade. The person leaves her alone though and steals $100 from Sam's wallet and goes into the bathroom where we can see in the mirror that the person is a woman wearing a mask. She puts Sam's toothbrush in the toilet. The next day, Sam notices his money missing and accuses Stephanie of taking it while they are visiting a canyon.
On the final day before they leave, the masked woman comes into the room again and murders Sam in his sleep by stabbing him in the neck. The camera shows the killer and Stephanie kissing in the bathroom, implying that Stephanie planned this with her "loved one" as told in her fortune. The two leave and Stephanie asks the girl if she erased the footage.
Tuesday the 17th
Four friends, Wendy, Joey, "Spider" and Samantha, visit Wendy's home town. They go to the woods where Wendy leads her friends aimlessly through the trees. As the group continues to film, the footage shows strange glimpses of bodies and Wendy starts telling Joey scary and confusing things. The group rests near a river and smoke marijuana. Joey asks Wendy about what she was saying before. She starts to talk about accidents she had with old friends and a mysterious man but she laughs and everyone believes she is joking. Spider and Samantha get away from the site but Samantha is killed by something unseen. Spider tries to run but is soon killed as well. The bodies are dragged away and Wendy comes and finds the camera and then heads back. When she returns to Joey, she finds that he has just come from swimming in the river and she awkwardly offers him sex. Joey becomes frustrated with Wendy who explains that the others were killed and she only brought them here as bait to bring in the killer, who terrorized her and killed her friends when she was younger.
The killer comes again and we see that the person is a silhouette of a man covered by technical glitches (according to Wendy, he has supernatural powers that allow him to teleport and hide his appearance on camera, though we do see that his face is red with what is mostly blood). The man kills Joey by slitting his throat. Wendy runs away and we see that she has previously made traps to stop the killer. The first few traps fail, but she eventually stops him in a spiked trap. Wendy gloats that she has finally caught him and people will believe her now. However, she turns around only to see that the glitch man has escaped. She runs away but falls down and tells the camera and whoever is watching to never come to the area. The killer then pounces on her and guts her with a knife as the film ends.
The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger
A woman named Emily and her boyfriend, James, video chat and talk about her apartment being haunted. James does not believe this but recorded scares around the apartment occur. Meanwhile, Emily discovers a strange bump in her arm. She sees visions of young children appearing in the night and she tries to ask her landlord if anyone has ever died in the apartment, thinking the child is a spirit. The landlord denies this and more scares continue to happen. One day Emily wants to go into a room and search with her eyes closed. James guides her and she soon faces two children, a boy and a girl, who attack her. Emily appears unconscious and James quickly enters the room with the children and it is shown that they are working together as James has always been with her in the apartment and he extracts a strange fetus-like thing from her back. With some concern for her well-being, he asks them how many times they are going to need him to remove it before no more grow inside her, as well as the tracking device implanted in her arm. They respond with inaudible whispers, and he breaks her arm and bruises her eye to make it look like she was hit by a car, before noticing that her webcam is still on. He turns it off, and the scene jumps forward to Emily talking to James, with a black eye and her arm in a splint. She tells James how she went to see the doctor he recommended, who "diagnosed" her as having a mild form of schizophrenia, making her believe that the ghosts were all in her head and that she ran in front of a car and does not remember. They hang up, and the video cuts to James talking to a different lady and it is shown he is going to repeat the same process.
Chad, Matt, Tyler and Paul (dressed in Halloween costumes as the Unabomber, a pirate, a nanny cam and a marine, respectively) head out to a Halloween party at a stranger's house but soon find the house deserted. They get in through the back and think the house is actually a haunted attraction. As they search around, the camera comes from Tyler's nanny cam in his bear costume and shows distorted visions of ghosts. The friends hear loud chanting from the attic and interrupt a group of people seemingly assaulting a bound young woman. They think this is a joke at first but soon realize the truth when the leader assaults the woman violently and strange hands emerge from the walls and the cult members are pulled to the ceiling. The guys get downstairs but decide to return and rescue the girl, not realizing they are interrupting an exorcism. Just as they save her, more haunting and disturbing paranormal events prevent them from escaping via the front door.
They exit through the basement and get into the car but when they begin to question the woman, she disappears and re-appears besides the window as a demon-like figure. The car starts to move by itself. The friends witness the woman leave into the night and they realize that their car is on the train tracks and that the doors are sealed shut. They attempt to break the windows as they see a train approaching. The final video ends as the friends are killed by the oncoming train.