American born SARAH has journeyed to small town New Zealand to put the body of her husband, TIM, to rest. Only vaguely aware of his estranged family, she is now the sole heir and takes possession of the estate, leaving the long running tenants less than happy with their untimely eviction.
While Sarah works through grief, legal settlements and icy dealings with the alienated local community, her young daughter, ALISON becomes increasingly isolated. Left to her own devices, she finds a decrepit old 1950's picture book titled 'The Lonely boy' on one of her explorations through the old house.
The book tells a bizarre tale of eerie characters and a family's unjustified hatred of a young, warm hearted character known as 'lonely boy'. Unnerved by the story, Sarah asks Alison where she found it, to which Alison responds: 'in Timothy's room under the stairs'.
Shaken by the peculiar book, Sarah removes it from her daughter's room and ventures under the stairs. There she finds an old cupboard with the faded remnants of a young child's forgotten hiding place. As the legal battles and nights alone start to take their toll, noises, shadowy figures and voices begin to manifest in the house. More unnerving are the sudden appearance of cupboards and tiny doors. Brushing it off as paranoia, Sarah is forced to face facts when Alison disappears, leading her to venture into one of the rotten crawl spaces.
It is here where she discovers why Timothy was so desperate to get out...