In 1945, in Jersey, Channel Islands, the widow Grace Stewart(Nicole Kidman) lives in a lonely old house with her daughter Anne(Alakina Mann) and her son Nicholas(James Bentley). Grace lost her beloved husband Charles(Christopher Eccleston) in the World War II and their children are photosensitive and Grace keeps the curtains and the doors closed to protect Anne and Nicholas against the sunlight. Grace raises her children with strict discipline and following religious principles. Grace hires the strange housekeeper Mrs. Bertha Mills(Fionnula Flanagan), the mute maid Lydia(Elaine Cassidy) and the gardener Mr. Edmund Tuttle(Eric Sykes) that have asked for a job. Out of the blue, mysterious things happen in the mansion and Anne claims that there is a boy named Viktor(Alexander Vince) that visits them. Grace unsuccessfully seeks out the intruders until the day she has a revelation about the house and its intruders.