Running from a dark secret, Danish backpacker Mike Hammershoi (Anders W. Berthelsen) arrives at Black's estate in the Scottish Borders, looking for work.
Cut off from the outside world, Francis Black (Peter Mullan), the blind owner, lives in a shuttered, decaying mansion, with his elderly mother Bella (Phyllida Law). Francis reluctantly offers the traveller a low-paid job in the yard. Put off by the unsettling atmosphere, Mike declines the offer. But, as he turns to go, he sets eyes on Rachel (Jodhi May), Francis' enigmatic young wife, and changes his mind.
Mike starts work on the farm, dumping the debris of the Blacks' once-successful business into the mud pit, a bottomless vortex of quicksand at the edge of the estate. He soon realises that Francis, increasingly embittered by his blindness, exerts a domineering power over Rachel.
Rachel, emotionally suffocated by her husband, is increasingly attracted to Mike, whose presence awakens her pent-up sexual desire. Unable to resist each other, they become lovers. As the sexual tension increases, so too does Francis' jealousy and rage.
In a fit of anger, Francis sacks Mike. The threat of his departure forces Rachel to choose between her husband and her lover. Unaware of his dark past, Rachel decides to run away with Mike.
Seething with fury, Francis stands, knife in hand, by the edge of the mud pit, waiting for the unsuspecting lovers as they prepare to make their escape.
"Intense and stunning" Hannah McGill - THE HERALD
"One of the most cutting edge movies at the moment" - THE SUN