When a man suffering from a rare disease receives a debilitating head injury, the treatment given him mutates his affliction into a highly contagious virus. As the disease spreads, it first kills its victims and then reanimates them into beings that are compelled to eat ravenously and crave human flesh.
In Clearwater, Florida, Steve Wendell is following the stories of people attacking each other, but is unaware of the situation. When Heather Johansen, a Sheriff’s Deputy who is interested in Steve as more than a friend, tells him the real story of cities being overrun by the dead, Steve makes plans to barricade himself in the fifteen story bank building where the radio station manages has its suite of offices.
After locking himself in with Heather and eight others, the group continues to broadcast live as the dead surround their redoubt and search for a way in. Coming across a ten year-old girl that is immune to the disease, the group tries to find a way to transport her across a land filled with the flesh-eating dead to a government facility where she can be studied and a cure found.