Catherine and Matthew Parker move with their children Lily and Tom to the remote Australian desert town of Nathgari. Although the family is unhappy with the move, Matthew and Tom blame Lily for forcing them to leave Canberra. When he can’t sleep, Tom sometimes walks around the neighborhood at night, an activity his parents discourage. One night, Matthew sees Tom leave the house, followed by Lily. He says nothing and goes back to sleep. Catherine oversleeps, and when she cannot find the kids, calls Matthew at work. He reassures her that they must have gone to school before she woke up. When the school calls to report that Tom and Lily have not been attending, she once again becomes worried, as a sandstorm is scheduled to hit the town. Matthew discourages her from contacting anyone, as he does not wish the family’s business to once again become public knowledge. Against his wishes, Catherine contacts several people and finally the police.