) is a young, struggling artist studying at the University of Maine, whose work is haunted by images of death. Believing he is losing his girlfriend, Jessica (Erika Christensen
), Alan's obsession with the dark side pushes him to try to take his own life on his birthday. Friends thwart his desperate act, yet events go from bad to worse, as Alan soon discovers he has opened a door letting death literally enter his life.
Recovering from his self-inflicted wounds, Alan receives crushing news -- his mother (Barbara Hershey) has suffered a major stroke and is lying at death's door in Lewiston Hospital, over 100 miles away. Rejecting his friends' offer to drive him, Alan decides to hitchhike, hoping he'll make it to the hospital in time.
But it is Halloween night, and Alan is about to discover that he has started down a nightmare road that will take him on both an odyssey into black recesses of the human heart and a journey that will bring him face to face with Death Incarnate.
Based on a story written exclusively for the Internet by Stephen King.