In 1984, Michael Jackson and "Thriller" are popular in the lives of New Zealand children. Boy is an 11-year-old dreamer who loves Michael Jackson. He lives on a farm with his Nan, a goat, and his younger brother, Rocky (who thinks he has magic powers).
Shortly after Nan leaves for a week, Boy's father, Alamein, returns home after seven years away. Having imagined his father as a deep sea diver, a war hero and a close relation of Michael Jackson, Boy comes face to face with the real versionan incompetent hoodlum who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years before.