Ohio, like the whole America, is stuck between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Vietnam War. Faith in the world and humanity has been lost, so the only thing that remains unchanged is God. We see the stories of different people who somehow suffered from the same thing. «Almost all of them are connected by blood through this or that god forgotten disaster» – says the narrator and reminds us why the heroes are experiencing all the pain of their generations. There begins the religious fanaticism from which nothing good can be expected. The plot arises around how people cling to the last opportunity to atone for their sins, but actually earn new ones.
The difference in the images of the key characters is in the reasons for their godlessness. Arvin Russell (Tom Holland) loses faith because of his fanatical father Willard (Bill Skarsgard) who could not cope with the loss of his wife and sacrifices himself to a higher power. Sheriff Lee Baodecker (Sebastian Stan) turns a blind eye to the serial murders committed by his sister Sandy (Riley Kio) and her fiancé Carl Henderson (Jason Clarke) because the election of the governor is soon and Baodecker takes part. Lenora (Eliza Scanlen), Arwin's half-sister, has so much faith in God that she accepts the words of the new preacher Preston Tigardin (Robert Pattinson) about the naked communion for a clean coin. And even the clergyman himself, who should be the salvation of the city, instead pretends to be Jesus himself and uses this as bait for local women.