The movie begins with a voice-over from a little kid, just as we see newspaper clippings about 7 missing children, how police have searched and all that. We also see in flashes a kid running through the woods, a little bloody, and the police searching with dogs and flashlights. Through the voice-over we learn that this kid escaped from whatever it was that "kidnapped" him, the person asking him questions asks him if he knows who took him, he answers thadt he doesn't. The person asks if he thinks the other children have been harmed, there is a little pause, and he says: "yes". fade to black.
Next, it's 40 years later, in an unspecified location in Spain, we see a very creepy looking house through a gloomy morning, in the middle of the woods, with no neighbors or anything close by. We see Reggie (Anna Paquin) waking up in her bed; there are boxes in her room. Cut to the kitchen, where a little boy, Paul, sits in the kitchen looking glum. His father is making orange juice and fills up a glass and places it in front of him. The mother (Lena Olin) comes in, speaking about how she's sorry she's late and we find out that she's a nurse and works under her husband's father at the hospital. We learn that it's been 3 weeks since they moved to Spain ( we never explicitly learn why, but we get an inkling by the end). Paul asks his mom "Did you get them?" excitedly a couple of times and his mom gives him a box of coloring pencils, Reggie comes down and says hi just as the Dad tells Paul they'll be late and they hurry out the door.
Reggie and Mom stay in the kitchen talking, and the mom is upset that Reggie isn't very excited about being there. Reggie asks if it's so weird to want to finish High School back home with her friends, and that she doesn't know if she'll be staying long. Mom's not happy. Reggie says she has swim practice.
We cut to a pool, Reggie's swimming and as she reaches the end she pokes her head out and sees a guy, Carlos, who teases her and pushes her head under. She smiles and seems to like him a lot. Later in the girl's locker room he sneaks in to talk to her, and she's pretty happy to see him, he wants her to go out with him, and she seems to be mulling it over.
We then come to a party at the house, kind of a House-warming thing, but Reggie and Paul aren't getting into it much. We see Mom talking to an old guy and then Dad comes over and says he's gonna get jealous, we find out he's Dad's Father (from now on, Grandpa). Grandpa (Giancarlo Giannini) assures them they'll be great and they seem happy.
It begins to rain and we cut to night, where Dad is cleaning up outside in a raincoat, Reggie is upstairs taking a bath in the tub. Mom and Dad are doing the dishes when the power goes out, we find out it does that every day since they got there.
The next day, it's still raining, Dad is driving Paul to school. On the radio they speak of how an eclipse is coming, it happens every 40 years. There's a big traffic jam and Paul says they'll be late. Dad assures him they won't and he begins to tease Paul, getting him to play along while he honks the horn, suddenly Dad begins to choke, and we see flashes of the kid running and a dark hallway with a scary figure running, Paul doesn't know if his Dad's joking so he just sits there and asks if he's alright. The cars begin to move, but when they stay put, the driver from the car behind runs over to yell, sees Dad choking and starts calling for help as he takes him out of the car.
Cut to the hospital, they're all there, and we find out that it's been 10 years since Dad's last attack. He has an illness called Haughtingtons, or something, but it's never really explained. We know he took treatment and he's been fine for 10 years, roughly since Paul was born. Mom shrugs it off as stress but Reggie's worried.
Back in the house, Dad hired an electrician to take a look at the wiring, he finds nothing and when he doesn't have an answer, Dad gets Very worked up and starts to swear and curse at the guy, Reggie watches and gets even more worried. She tries to talk to Mom but she shrugs it off again.
That night, Paul is in his room drawing next to the bed. We see from a POV under the bed like a dark mist swirling there, and then one of his pencils gets sucked under the bed, he starts to take a peek when the door bangs open (typical jump in your seat moment). Dad says it's lights out and puts him in bed and closes the door. There's a toy in the closet,a small carousel that begins spinning on its own, and Paul gets freaked out.
Reggie comes in late on the bus and as she gets off in front of the house. She sees a man across the street, staring at the house. She runs inside and finds Paul in the kitchen, drawing. Reggie stares at the drawings and sees they're all of children with a red line across their throats. She asks Paul about it and he asks what disturbs her, the fact that they're "cut" or that they're children.
Reggie tries to talk to mom the next day but she's in denial, Paul has bruises around his neck. They get Grandpa to come and check him out but he says it's fine. Kids stuff.
All the while, whenever people walk around in the house at night, we see flashes of someone passing in front of the camera. Paul tells Reggie that the ones who hurt him are kids, she tells him there's no one there but them. Paul tells her they told him he's an impostor, she doesn't understand.
Reggie wakes up one day to banging noise, Dad is breaking a wall under the stairs, a secret room is there and he pulls out an old picture of three creepy looking ladies in black and white on it. Also, an old record player begins playing on its own. Dad is happy, Reggie is freaked.
She starts to wonder about the house, she tells Carlos about it, and they begin to dig into the house's past and find that no one ever lived there. There's no information about anything, only the architect. They look for him, and we find that it's the man Reggie saw outside her house.
The man is Villalobos, and he says he was hired by an intermediary, given the specific plans of the house and that's it. Then the thing with the kids happened. They ask what thing, and he shows them newspaper clippings we saw in the beginning. He says that they must get her brother out of the house. He then asks them to leave.
By now Reggie is on full freak, she goes to the house, but mom is still in denial and says Dad's fine and everythings fine with Paul also. We see Paul putting pencils in front of his bed, and just as one gets sucked in, the door slams shut and the lights go out. The swings outside the house begin to swing on their own and Reggie hears Paul screaming. She tries to open the door but can't. Dad gets there and loses it. He begins to slam on the door really hard scaring them all. The door finally opens and Paul is inside scared like hell, Reggie asks Dad what the hell's wrong with him.
Dad says there are Larvae in the house and that he hears them (the guy is crazy). He takes a shovel and digs into the living room floor, but has another fit so it's back to the hospital for an MRI.. Reggie is in the house alone, Mom and Paul are at the hospital.
Reggie uncovers what Dad was digging up and finds a symbol, an Oroboros. Carlos is developing some pictures he took of her in her house, and as he develops them, he sees six creepy looking children behind her. He calls her on the phone just as the power goes out in the house. Reggie is walking around with flashlight and comes to the creepy picture of the three ladies. She sees the one in the middle is missing. As she turns around, we see a horrible figure creeping along the ceiling, a decrepit, naked, wrinkly old hag. Just then Carlos bangs in the door and she goes with Carlos to the library to look for occult stuff and finds the same symbol. It's related to a ritual that should take place during an eclipse where 7 children's throats must be cut by loving hands. Thereby releasing Darkness back into the world.
She goes to the hospital to talk to mom.
We see Villalobos putting a phone down in his house and leaving, he left a message on Carlo's machine. In the hospital, Reggie gets nowhere with mom about keeping Paul out of the house, and away from Dad so she goes to talk to Grandpa at his place.
Villalobos is in the subway, the lights are blinking, and across from him appear the creepy hags for a moment. He's walking through a hallway when suddenly he is all alone and the lights behind him start to go out. He doesn't realize it until the light above him go out and he is pulled back screaming.
Reggie is talking to Grandpa, he is trying to calm her and asks her to wait a bit, just then Carlos call on her cell and says that Villalobos left him a message with the address of the intermediary who paid him to build the house. Reggies realizes that she is there already, she turns and sees Grandpa.
It turns out Grandpa was behind all this. He, being a scientist, along with 6 others, decided to perform the ritual 40 years ago, to release Darknes back into the world. It is never fully explaines if he's a devil worshipper or not, it seems as if he just did it to satisfy his scientific curiosity. But he tells Reggie( whom he tied up and gagged) that after the other six had cut their childrens throats, he realized that it wouldn't work, because he didn't really love his son, and loving hands are needed.
While he is saying this, we see Carlos coming closer to Grandpa's apartment, and Mom, Dad and Paul are in their house. Dad begins to act strange and mom finally gets freaked and runs and locks herself into the bathroom with Paul. She pleads with Dad through the door to take his medication but Dad is very violent. We see she has a knife in her hands.
Loving hands, Grandpa said, and Reggie says her Dad wouldn't kill Paul. Grandpa says it isn't about Paul, because it has to be the same child. Reggie realizes it's her mom who is supposed to kill her dad, and she says she wouldn't do that. Grandpa says that you would be surprised at what a woman would do to save her child. Carlos interupts, ringing the bell, Grandpa goes and receives him catching him unawares and injecting something which passes him out (it looks like he killed him, but he didnt). Grandpa comes back and sees Reggie whispering "Dad I love you so much" he gets a weird light in his eye, and releases her, telling her to hurry.
She hails a cab and goes to the house. Meanwhile, Mom steps out of the room, knife in hand, carrying Paul.. Dad is downstairs taking too much medicine, his throat closes up and he collapses on top of the Oroboros symbol on the floor. Mom comes around and sees Dad, yells at Paul to go to his room and gets a pen and empties the inside, leaving a tube. She plans to do a tracheotomy. While she is distracted, the pen is sucked into the darkness, away from her. At Grandpa's, Carlos comes to, and we realize he wasn't dead. We don't see grandpa anywhere.
Reggie comes in just in time to stop mom, but realizes she wasn't killing him after mom explains what happened. In any case, she tells mom that she'll do it, because Mom is shaking. Just as she gets ready to make the small hole, the whole house shakes, causing her to plunge the knife deep, making bood spurt out. They look for the pen but can't find it, and Dad dies just as the Eclipse begins.
Reggie freaks and asks where Paul is. Mom is distraught, not speaking clearly, but says he is in his room.. The lights go out and Reggie has a flashlight, mom is in the kitchen with the burners on. Reggie goes upstairs and gets Paul, and just as they're walking back their Mom is at the top of the stairs. She says it's alright, she just has to turn off the light. At the same time Mom sees Reggie and Paul downstairs, telling her to turn the burners off. Reggie says that Drakness is tricking them and that she's not her real mother.. the "specter" turns into a hag and Reggie runs carrying Paul. But Mom caved in, she turned the burners off and is slashed to pieces. When Reggie and Paul get downstairs they find blood everywhere and they try to break through a window. They finally manage. It is gloomy outside, during the eclipse, like twilight. Just as they escape the house Carlos comes along in his car and they pile in.
The car heads along the road, carrying them, apparently, to safety. We cut back to the house and we see Carlos pulling up in his car again. he gets out and rus to the door, opening it. It is pitch black inside, but he still walks in, because from inside he hears Reggie's voice, telling him she has something he has to see. The door slams shut... bye bye Carlos.
In the Car, Reggie says that it's over, that they're fine. Paul says no, the Darkness is tricking them. Reggie says that he's mistaken, it's over. Just then, "Carlos" turns to her and says "No."
The last shot is of the car, driving into a pitch black tunnel.
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