Five Months Ago
Bobby is running through the woods at night in the snow. People carrying shovels, clubs, and flashlights are chasing after him, using dogs to track him.
Bobby, an avid jogger, returns to his city apartment for a dinner party and finds his wife Tracy in the bathroom. Her period is late and she just finished a pregnancy test revealing she isn't pregnant. She's eager to get out of the city so that they can raise a baby where's it's peaceful. Later their friends Scott and Meryl come over for the party. They chat and Scott mentions a gated community, the Commons, where they failed to meet the standards. Bobby and Tracy drive to see the place and talk with Candace, the community spokeswoman. She gives them a tour and talks up the community, and shows them the only available house. She notes that the previous owner had to leave due to a business transfer. The large house come furnished and the price is amazingly cheap, and Tracy wants to move in and start a family. Bobby is skeptical and Candace suggests they should at least fill out an application and see what happens.
Two days later the couple gets word that they've been accepted. After meeting with Candace they go over an extensive personal conduct agreement. Candace explains that the reason the house is so cheap is because the community wants people like Bobby and Tracy to invest in their future. Their community is based on centuries of facts and figures about different types of communities across the world, and the couple meets their criteria. Bobby and Tracy sign and move in, where the neighbors enthusiastically greet them. On their first night in the house, Bobby overcomes his reluctance and tries to have a baby with Tracy.
The next morning their next-door neighbors Phil and Debra Fabre visits. Phil makes a number of jokes, including the fact that the 12 years they've been there are the worst in his life. Debra glares at him but Phil is unrepentant and starts drinking.
At the Commons community shops, Tracy goes to get coffee and meets Arlene, a mother who explains that they can pay whenever they like. She talks about how well her daughter is doing in school then leaves, and Tracy enjoys her coffee… while Candace watches her on security cameras.
The couple hosts a Christmas party with everyone in the neighborhood there. Phil and Debra are there, and Phil starts complaining loudly about the Commons. Debra slaps him and he falls onto a glass end table. Bobby comes over and sees that Phil has artificial legs. The other men get Phil out of the house, promising they'll take care of him. A few days later, Bobby stops at the Fabre house while jogging and asks about Phil. Debra says that he's left to see his sick brother.
That night, Bobby and Tracy are in bed and Tracy has dozed off. As Bobby flips through the channels, he sees a bizarre site: a broadcast from their neighbors Ron and Sandra's bedroom. Sandra is having an affair with another man, and Ron barges in, kicks the man out, and starts fighting with his wife.
Later when Bobby checks their answering machine, he hears a message from Arlene recommending her OB to Tracy, who is having problems conceiving. Bobby's angry that Tracy told Arlene about their personal problems. At a resident group meeting where Bobby is a member and Candace heads, Ron and Sandra are brought in. Candace says that the community can no longer trust Sandra and it's Ron's duty to choose a punishment for her. Bobby believes it's a personal matter but the rest of the group overrides him. The next day Bobby is out walking when he sees Sandra tied to a pole with a pig's mask on, while the neighbors throw garbage at her. He confronts Ron who says that Sandra choose the punishment. There's a police officer present but he says that they're helping Sandra and she'll be a better person for it. Bobby tries to help Sandra but she screams at him to leave her alone and he's forced to leave.
A few days later, Bobby is out walking when he sees Sandra and Ron together and apparently happy. Upon returning home, he finds Candace and another of Tracy's friends waiting for him. Tracy is there, and Candace explains that they are present to help with the pregnancy. She notes that the residence agreement gives them the right to intervene: the couple has six months to conceive or they lose the house and their credit rating. Bobby calls Scott, a lawyer, who wonders how they could have signed such an agreement and warns there's no way out of it. Bobby, suspicious, asks Scott to help him try and track down the previous owners of the house.
Tracy chats with her friends, who note that the people in the Commons always support each other even if they move away. Bobby tries to talk to Phil, who has returned home. However, he appears shell-shocked and Debra shuts the door in Bobby's face. Scott has had no luck finding the previous owner, who has disappeared.
Tracy finally gives Bobby the news that she's pregnant… after having told Arlene. He starts to become comfortable with the idea after seeing the ultrasound pictures, but as they're driving home a panicked Sandra throws herself at the car. She runs into traffic and is hit by a car, dying instantly. The other witnesses insist that she tried to commit suicide while drunk.
Back home, Bobby insists that something is wrong and when they turn on the TV, see themselves. Bobby spots the camera and goes to the Fabres to get an explanation. Debra turns them away, saying they have a daughter and she's at risk if Debra does anything.
Tracy talks to Arlene, who is comfortable with the surveillance and notes that everyone gets used to it. Bobby calls Scott to ask for Meryl's help. Later in their bedroom, Tracy fakes a coming illness and then the next day fake-collapses in the coffee shop. Bobby supposedly drives her to the hospital, but returns with Meryl in a brunette wig. Meryl takes Tracy's place in bed with the covers pulled up, while Scott drives Tracy and her family to a cabin in the woods where no one can find them. As the neighbors visit to express their best wishes for Tracy to get better, Bobby notices that the neighbor children are playing a game where the put a pig mask on one of their own and torment her.
Meryl and Bobby are hiding in a closet wondering what's happened to Tracy and Scott when Candace confronts them. She knows they've tried to deceive the community and she demands to know where Tracy is. When Bobby says that they can kill him but he won't give her Tracy's location, Candace says she doesn't have any desire to kill Bobby or Tracy. However, their friends and family aren't so safe, and Candace notes that Meryl will meet with a fatal accident. The neighbor men hold bobby down and give him an injection of sodium pentothal.
When Bobby wakes up, Candace thanks him for the information and says he'll be seeing Tracy soon. Phil comes in, apparently drunk, and says that he's happy that Bobby will be saying. However, he has hidden a pair of scissors and stabs Candace in the neck, killing her. Bobby takes advantage of the distraction to run outside and the neighbors go after him in pursuit. He gets to the outside road and spot an oncoming car: it's Tracy and Scott. Tracy says that they came back for him… but Scott says he's been offered an incredible deal on a house in the Commons, and they'll all be neighbors. The community residents arrive and capture Bobby and take him away, while Tracy says it's all for the best.
Years later, Tracy is now the community spokeswoman. Accompanied by her young son, she greets a new couple and tells them about all the virtues of the Commons. They wonder about her husband, and she points him out to them, supposedly working upstairs. They see him sitting upstairs and then start moving into their house. As Tracy kisses her son, Bobby remains sitting: his legs have been amputated and he's trapped in a wheelchair.
Share this article with your friends