After a stint in prison, Sonny returns to his home in East Texas, determined to repair his relationship with his son. Standing in his way is his brother, who has turned the home into a crumbling meth lab.
“Safe” has been described as a horror movie of the soul, a description that director Todd Haynes relishes. California housewife Carol White seems to have it all in life: a wealthy husband, a beautiful house, servants, beauty, and a lot of friends. The only thing she lacks is a strong personality: Carol seems timid and empty during all of her interactions with the world around her. At the beginning of the film, one would consider her to be more safe in life than just about anyone. That doesn’t turn out to be the case. Starting with headaches and leading to a grandmal seizure, Carol becomes more and more sick, claiming that she’s become sensitive to the common toxins in today’s world: exhaust, fumes, aerosol spray, etc. She pulls back from the sexual advances of her husband and spends her nights alone by the TV or wandering around the outside of her well-protected home like an animal in a cage. Her physician examines her and can find nothing wrong. An allergist finds that she has an allergic reaction to milk but explains that there is no treatment for that sort of allergy. She sees a psychiatrist who does nothing but make her nervous. In the hospital, Carol sees an infomercial for Wrenwood, a new-age retreat for those who are “environmentally ill,” and leaves her husband and stepson to try and find salvation at this retreat: headed by a phony, grandstanding, “sensitive” individual named Peter Dunning.
Lily is a sheltered art student from Michigan going to school in California. She finds an apartment and her roommates aren’t quite normal. One day she finds a box of items belonging to a girl she’s never met before. But in the box are nude pictures of the girl and her diary. Lily begins reading the diary and realizes that she’s going to change her life and become a wild woman! She begins dating a guy and at the same time her art instructor begins to lust after her. The struggle begins when her boyfriend thinks she’s unfaithful to him and her art teacher becomes obsessed.
Helen Lyle is a student who decides to write a thesis about local legends and myths. She visits a part of the town, where she learns about the legend of the Candyman, a one-armed man who appears when you say his name five times, in front of a mirror. Of course, Helen doesn’t believe all this stuff, but the people of the area are really afraid. When she ignores their warnings and begins her investigation in the places that he is rumored to appear, a series of horrible murders begins. Could the legend be true?