Meek, reclusive and talented Jimmy is emotionally imprisoned by his abusive, alcoholic older brother David - and fanatically religious mother Eleanor. With evil lurking in the shadows, the sun sets and Jimmy finds escape in the neon glow of a traveling sideshow carnival.
With a guise of red satin and the lure of a heavenly voice, Sandra, billed as an "oddity of nature", is the carnival's premier attraction. Jimmy befriends Sandra, unaware that her imprisonment and degradation, at the hands of Frank, the carnival owner, mirror his own. Sandra, taken by his innocence, finds her own inner strength and suppressed dreams.
When David disappears, the metaphorical white-picket fences collapse, leaving raw emotions exposed to the spark of truth.