Newlyweds Helen and León mysteriously receive an offer to live in an 18th century palace, in a country they’ve never even heard of, two years rent for the price of one…
So long as they pay everything up front – which amounts to their entire life’s savings. They decide this leap of faith is just the thing they need; Leon needs time and solitude to write his novel, and Helen needs material for her doctoral thesis in art history.
With their lives packed into a few suitcases, Helen and León arrive in a place where everything is strange to them, from the scorching-hot weather to the bizarre local legends. No locals they meet will even go near their new home, which turns out to be riddled with tiny cracks and completely deserted. Smelling strongly of bleach, their apartment is empty but for an old wooden chair in the center of the main room. Something about the chair fills Helen with a sense of dread, and they carry it downstairs and out of sight.
Then one night the chair reappears in their apartment. At first Helen thinks her husband is playing a joke. But it’s only the beginning. Every day seems to bring some strange menace into their lives, until they finally realize the horrifying fate that is to befall them, and discover the legacy of their new home’s dark past.