American Gothic, set in the rural community of Trinity, South Carolina, a postcard-pretty enclave of antebellum houses and manicured lawns, is the story of a town tormented and seduced by the ominous presence of one man, Sheriff Lucas Buck. A malevolent force with an inexhaustible hunger for control, Buck (Gary Cole) masquerades as a benevolent lawman while he rules without law or conscience. His deputy, Ben Healy (Nick Searcy), is concerned with his boss’s lethal amorality, but is helpless to stop him. A more worthy opponent is Dr. Matt Crower (Jake Weber), but even he does not realize the power of his adversary. Gail Emory (Paige Turco), a former Trinity resident who now works as a newspaper reporter, returns to the scene of her haunted past when she learns that Lucas Buck is threatening her young cousin, Caleb Temple (Lucas Black). Gail’s return to town sets in motion a series of confrontations that will have terrible consequences.