In 1942, a young couple, Ben and Ruth Watkins, purchase a house in a small rural town in Louisiana. Unknown to them, the house has a violent past. In 1928, the bank foreclosed on the previous owners, the Monroes, which led to a shootout on the property. Ruth and Ben slowly learn that every new resident, since 1928, has met a violent end and now Ruth becomes convinced someone is trying to get them to leave. Ruth is repeatedly terrorized by a mysterious slow-moving lurker when Ben is away. A series of flashbacks show the same lurker murdering several people who move into the house.
Near the end, Ben himself tries to stop the lurker from hurting Ruth only to end up being killed by accident when Ruth attempts to shoot the lurker only to shoot her husband. When Ruth decides to move out, she decides to say goodbye to her neighbors only to discover that the lurker resides in the house next door. The lurker/killer is Dwayne Monroe who lives with Anna, who is actually Olie Monroe. The real estate agent Jake, who sold the house to Ben and Ruth, is actually Todd Monroe who has been running a real estate scam for decades; Jake/Todd Monroe sells the old Monroe house to unsuspecting young couples, while his sister-in-law Anna/Olie Monroe befriends the new tenants to learn more about them, and their brother Dwayne Monroe terrorizes, harasses, and eventually murders the new owners, enabling Jake to buy back the house and live off the sale proceeds which he splits with Olie and Dwayne. During a scuffle, Dwayne murders Olie and then goes after Ruth, only for Jake to shoot and kill him in self-defense.
In the final scene, set five years later in 1947, the now-insane Ruth has married Jake and willingly joins him in his continuing scam of selling the old family house to unsuspecting people, murdering them, and then living off the sale of the property to new owners.
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