The Poet (Javier Bardem) places a large crystallized object in a frame. The structure he is in changes from a burnt-out husk to a newly renovated house. The Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) forms in a bed, wondering aloud where the Poet, her husband, is. An acclaimed author struggling with severe writer's block, the Poet's creative issues begin to take a toll on the tranquil existence that the Mother has created for the home. She starts seeing things around the house that unsettle her, including visualizing a beating heart within the walls of the house.

One day, a Man (Ed Harris) turns up at the house, asking for a room. The Poet readily agrees, and the Mother reluctantly follows suit. During his stay, the Man experiences prolonged coughing fits. The Mother witnesses the Poet assist the Man as he crouches over the toilet and catches a glimpse of a fresh wound by his rib area before her husband covers it with his hand. The next day, the Woman (the Man's wife) (Michelle Pfeiffer), also arrives to stay. The Mother begins to become more and more frustrated with her guests, while the Poet begs her to let them stay, reasoning that it makes the house feel alive to him. He also tells the Mother that the guests are fans of his work and that the male guest is dying, and wanted to meet him before dying. However, when the Man and Woman accidentally break and shatter the crystallized object, the Poet and the Mother come to a decision to kick them out.

While preparing to leave, the couple's two sons (Domhnall Gleeson and Brian Gleeson) arrive and start to fight over the will their father has left. The Oldest Son, who will be left with nothing, accidentally mortally injures his Younger Brother, and seemingly flees, while the Poet, the Man, and the Woman take the injured son to get help. As the Mother grows more and more paranoid after she is left alone in the house, the Oldest Son comes back but leaves abruptly, taking the Man's wallet. Upon returning, the Poet informs the Mother that the son has died and has been buried. Dozens of people begin arriving at the house for a wake for the dead son. More and more people arrive, and behave in a way that bothers the Mother; she becomes angrier and eventually snaps when the plumbing breaks and begins to flood the house. She kicks everyone out. Angry with the Poet for allowing so many people into the house for his own pleasure and ignoring her, she berates him before the two have sex.

The next morning, the Mother announces that she is pregnant. The news leaves the Poet elated and inspires him to finish his work. Within seconds, he announces that his work has been published. In celebration, the Mother prepares dinner for him when a group of fans arrives at the house. As she barricades herself in her home, more fans arrive and begin to enter the house to use the bathroom. More arrive and their behavior devolves into stealing their belongings as keepsakes, and disrupting the environment. As the Mother makes her way around the house, the walls and floors of every room become more and more deranged and chaotic. The Poet's publisher (Kristen Wiig) takes part in the madness, executing some of his fans with point-blank gunshots to the head. Military men with guns arrive to help the Mother, but a cult of devoted fans forms around the Poet; they start to engage in rituals.

The Mother goes into labor and finds her husband, who takes her to his study, where she gives birth. The havoc outside subdues as he tells the Mother that the massive crowd wants to see the baby. Refusing, she holds on tight to her son. When she falls asleep, however, he takes the baby outside to the crowd, who grab him and break his neck. Devastated, the Mother makes her way to the front of the crowd where she sees the hacked corpse of her child and witnesses the crowd eating his flesh. Furious at them, she calls them murderers and begins stabbing them with a shard of broken glass. They turn on her, beginning to strip and beat her until the Poet intervenes and stops it. The Mother escapes the grasps of the crowd and makes her way to the cellar where the furnace oil tank is. Despite her husband's pleas, the Mother sets the oil on fire, destroying the crowd, the house, and some of the surrounding garden and trees.

Both the Mother and Poet survive, but the Mother is horrifically burned. He asks her for the love she has left for him, and she agrees to give it to him. He then tears open her chest, removing a large crystallized object that he places in a frame. The burned-down house returns to like new, and a new Mother (Laurence Leboeuf) forms in a bed and wakes up, wondering aloud where her husband is.

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