When Strangers Appear tells the story of Beth, (Radha Mitchell) who has just opened her roadside restaurant for another day of work. But Beth's first customer Jack (Barry Watson) is anything but ordinary. When Jack appears bleeding and says that he is on the run from three murderers, Beth doesn't know what to think. Jack describes the madmen as three surfers, who soon also enter Beth's restaurant. When Beth meets the three men, they do not seem dangerous to her, and they tell her that Jack is the one who is deranged. The leader of the trio, Peter (Josh Lucas), tells Beth that Jack is a maniac with a serious case of road rage. Upon hearing the conflicting stories, Beth must decide whom to believe, the handsome stranger Jack or the three surfers. It quickly becomes apparent that Beth is on her own and that she is also in grave danger.