With a mixture of hope and melancholy, young Victor leaves the home of his foster mother to begin his working life. His journey takes him to a remote island, where he visits his only relative - an uncle he has never met. The old man, a lifelong bachelor, lives in a barricaded mansion, enveloped by an atmosphere of decay.
The two men are immediately at odds. With his uncle hardly speaking to him, Victor finds himself a virtual prisoner on this mysterious island. As the frost between the men slowly begins to thaw, Victor realises he must confront his own past to regain control of his life.