Ty Sampson, production company owner, devises a game show in which contestants answer questions for money. Should they get a question wrong, the contestant loses their money but can start over. However, for each wrong answer, the contestant receives an electric shock, with voltage increasing upon each incorrect answer. And, unknown to the contestant, there is someone offstage giving the shocks—someone who wants revenge on them: scorned lover, survivor of a near fatal accident, one who's lost their spouse in a fire due to the shock giver's negligence, etc.
The shock givers enjoy their retribution. The voltage then rises to serious levels where the contestant is twisting, squirming, even convulsing. Prodded by an assistant, Ph.D. scientist and partner in Ty's company, Kerry Hounslow, the shock-givers continue, as do contestants, who are encouraged by an audience of the host's production company employees.
The shows air, contestants and shock givers watch and are “tortured” again by the reminder of their pain or guilt. Dealing with their struggles, contestants and shock givers agree to meet, admit they were caught up in the pressure of the show, its host, and audience as well as their own jealousy, envy, and desire for revenge. Although a breach of contract, the group discusses going public to reveal how scenes involving injuries, even loss of consciousness, were edited.
Learning of this, Ty makes harassing calls, threatens to sue, and ultimately plots with a disgruntled game show contestant and an ex-girlfriend of another to end the others' lives.
Kerry uncovers the trio's plans to destroy the home where the contestants are meeting and calls to warn them—as the house is set aflame.
Faced with death, the victims rescue each other, surprised by strength they didn't know they had. In the process of survival, they become closer than they were before the incidents that originally drew them apart.