Private investigator Tom Welles (Nicolas Cage) is contacted by Daniel Longdale (Anthony Heald), attorney for wealthy widow Mrs. Christian (Myra Carter), whose husband has recently died. While clearing out her late husband's safe, she and Longdale found an 8mm film which appears to depict a real murder of a girl, but Mrs. Christian wants to know for certain.
College students Paxton (Jay Hernandez) and Josh (Derek Richardson) are traveling across Europe with their Icelandic friend Óli (Eyþór Guðjónsson). In Amsterdam, the three meet a man named Alexei (Lubomir Bukovy), who convinces them to visit a hostel in Slovakia filled with beautiful women. The three board a train to Slovakia, where they encounter a strange Dutch businessman (Jan Vlasák). When they arrive at the hostel, they are greeted by Natalya (Barbara Nedeljáková) and Svetlana (Jana Kaderabkova), who invite them to the spa, and later to the disco. That night, Paxton and Josh sleep with Natalya and Svetlana, while Óli sleeps with the desk girl, Vala (Jana Havlickova). The next morning, they are surprised to see that Óli hasn't returned, and they are unable to contact him. They are later approached by a Japanese girl named Kana (Jennifer Lim), who shows them a photo of Óli and her friend Yuki (Keiko Seiko), who has strangely disappeared as well.
The film opens with Super 8 footage depicting a family of four standing beneath a tree with sacks over their heads and nooses around their necks. An unseen figure saws through a branch acting as a counterweight, causing their deaths by hanging.
A man, known only as "The Counselor", and his girlfriend Laura are talking sexily in bed. Meanwhile, somewhere in Mexico, cocaine is packaged in barrels and concealed in a sewage truck, driven across the border and stored at a sewage treatment plant.
The film opens with a family being hung up like scarecrows in a corn field with sacks over their heads and burned alive. It is revealed to be the nightmare of nine-year-old Dylan Collins, who is staying in a rural farmhouse with his twin brother Zach, and their mother Courtney (Shannyn Sossamon).
Amy Mayfield (Jennifer Morrison) is unsure about her thesis. But after a conversation with security guard Reese Wilson (Loretta Devine), she decides to make a film about a serial killer murdering in the fashion of urban legends.
On their way home from a family party, married couple David (Luke Wilson) and Amy Fox, (Kate Beckinsale) who are planning to divorce after their young son Charlie accidentally died, take a wrong turn on a remote mountain road. When their car breaks down, they discover they are lost in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone reception, and decide to start walking back to The Pinewood Motel where they had earlier consulted with a mechanic about noises with the car. The couple arrive at the motel where there are no other cars parked. At the counter desk, they couple hear piercing screams coming from the back room which makes Amy reluctant to stay. The motel manager, Mason (Frank Whaley) then appears and explains that the noises are coming from the television. The couple then book a room for the night.
Special Agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) is a widowed single parent living in a suburban Portland home with her daughter, Annie Haskins (Perla Haney-Jardine), and her mother, Stella Marsh (Mary Beth Hurt). At night, she works in the FBI's cybercrime division with Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks), fighting identity theft and similar crimes. One night, an anonymous tip leads them to a website called KillWithMe.com. The site features a streaming video of a cat being tortured and killed. The website cannot be shut down, as the creator knew that someone would try and built into it a fail-safe; every time the server is closed, a mirror server immediately replaces it.
Mike Black Reilly (Stephen Dorff) is an NYPD detective who is called to the scene of a mysterious death in the subway system. The victim, Polidori (Udo Kier), exhibits bleeding from his eyes and other orifices and, by the frozen look on his face, appears to have seen something horrifying before being hit by a train.
Seven Tulane University undergraduates – Sara, Nick, Beth, Malik, Maya, Blake and Gordon – drive to Sara's family vacation home on a private lake. There, Sara encounters her old boyfriend, Dennis, and his friend Red.
The story follows five contestants who agree to take part in a reality webcast. The rules are simple: "Spend 6 months in a house for $1 MILLION. If someone leaves, everyone loses!" With the end of the 6 months nearing, the tension between contestants Matt (Sean Cw Johnson), Emma (Laura Regan), Charlie (Jennifer Sky), Danny (Stephen O'Reilly) and Rex (Kris Lemche) is at a high level. Instead of their regular food deliveries, packages containing sinister object arrive. A letter stating that Danny's grandfather has died, a gun with 5 bullets and a bottle of champagne.
Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) is awaiting execution in a corrupt Salvadoran prison. He is "purchased" by a wealthy television producer and transported to a deserted island in the South Pacific along with nine other condemned criminals similarly purchased from prisons around the world. They are "offered" the opportunity to avoid capital punishment and win back their freedom by fighting to the death in an illegal game to be filmed and broadcast live over the Internet.
In the last two days of 1999, Los Angeles has become a dangerous war zone. As a group of criminals rob a Chinese restaurant, the event is recorded by a robber wearing a 'SQUID', or "Superconducting Quantum Interference Device", an illegal electronic device which records events directly from the wearer's cerebral cortex, and when played back through a MiniDisc-like device called a "deck", allow a user to experience the recorder's memories and physical sensations. Lenny Nero is a former LAPD officer turned black marketeer who deals in bootleg SQUID recordings. His main supplier, Tick (Richard Edson), tries to sell the robbery clip to him. Lenny eventually agrees to buy it at a reduced price, having to cut out the last part where the rig records the robber's death by falling; clips that record the wearer's death are known as "blackjack" (snuff) clips, because the experience is described as "jacking into the big black" by Tick.
Harry Mitchell (Roy Scheider) is a successful industrialist living in the suburbs of Los Angeles whose wife Barbara (Ann-Margret) is running for city council while he is having an affair. Harry is confronted by three blackmailers demanding $105,000 for a videotape of him and his mistress, Cini (Kelly Preston).