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An ambulance drives through a snowy night in Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1982. The paramedics frantically call the hospital describing the state of a man covered with severe acid burns across his face. He is brought into the hospital and a policeman (Elias Koteas) asks a nurse to speak with the patient. The nurse tells him that the man can’t actually talk, but the policeman goes in anyway. He asks the man whether his recent activities pertained to a satanic ritual. The nurse calls the policeman away as he leaves a notepad and pen for the man to write down what he can. The head nurse mentions that a little girl came looking for the man, claiming to be his daughter. The policeman is surprised by this new development and asks how long ago she visited, when a scream pierces the ICU. Running back into the room, the policeman sees that the man jumped out of the window and is now a bloody mess on the side of the road. He looks at the notepad he left behind and sees “I’m sory Abby” written on the page.

Two Weeks Earlier.

Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is sitting in the courtyard of his house eating Now and Laters and singing the theme song of their commercial (“Eat some now, save some for later”) when his mother calls out to him. She asks him if he’s ruined his appetite and Owen promises her he hasn’t but doesn’t eat much of his meal. His parents are going through a divorce and Owen has been feeling neglected. As soon as his father calls, his mother answers the phone and the two argue. Owen takes a knife from the kitchen and goes up to his room.

In his room, Owen puts on an old Mike Myers mask and begins to say “hey girl, you scared?” followed by swift stabbing motions. He then takes out his telescope and begins looking at his neighbors, a body builder and a young woman, Virginia (Sasha Barrese) with an on-again-off-again boyfriend. Owen watches Virginia start to have sex with her boyfriend when she notices and Owen hides. Virginia shuts the blinds so he can’t watch. Owen’s attention is then drawn to a car which pulls up to the side of the complex. A middle aged man and a young girl who isn’t wearing any shoes step out of the car and the man pulls a trunk out of the back with him. Owen watches them climb up the stairs and then runs to the peep hole at the front of his door to watch them walk by.

Owen goes to school and examines the girl’s footprints in the snow. He is bullied by Kenny (Dylan Minnette) and his gang of friends constantly. Owen laughs at Kenny getting in trouble for harassing a girl whose boobs have recently started developing and Kenny sees this. In anger, he gives Owen a wedgie in the locker room and Owen pees his pants. After school, Owen buys some more Now and Laters along with a cheap pocket knife.

That night, Owen takes the pocket knife and jabs at a tree, repeating his creepy monologue to an anonymous girl. Abby (Chloe Grace-Moretz), the girl from the night before, asks him what he is doing. He tells her “nothing” and asks her the same question. She tells him that she cannot be his friend and leaves. He scowls and tells her (and more to himself) that he doesn’t want to be her friend either. The man from the night before comes out and tries to light a cigarette but can’t. He and Owen awkwardly look at one another before the Man (Richard Jankins), goes to the supermarket carrying a box.

The Man pulls into the supermarket and sees another car pull in. The young man inside of it runs into the store to quickly purchase a few items. The Man jimmies the lock of the car open and puts on a garbage bag mask. He lies in the back seat until the young man returns. The young man drives his car until he reaches a railroad track. Once the car stops, The Man jumps up behind him and begins to choke him. A train passes by but once it passes, the car stops moving.

The Man takes his victim to the woods and uses props him up using rope. He then cuts the man’s jugular so that the blood can flow into a gasoline container that he brought to store the blood. However, once he’s done, The Man accidentally trips on his own rope and the container falls to the ground, spilling most of the blood. He sees a snow truck approaching and grabs the container hastily before running away.

Owen is outside playing with a Rubik’s cube when Abby appears behind him and tells him to go away. He tells her that he was here first and asks her to leave. She asks him what he’s playing with and if it is a puzzle. He tells her it’s a Rubik’s cube and lends it to her. He tells her she smells funny which makes her feel awkward but then he’s called inside for dinner and leaves her behind.

After dinner, The Man returns and tells Abby what happened. Through the walls, Owen hears Abby screaming (in a demonic voice) at the Man and assumes that her father is yelling at her. He hears the door slam as Abby leaves to “do it herself.”

Owen’s bodybuilding neighbor finishes up a run and starts walking through the tunnel to the complex when he sees Abby crying in the tunnel. She tells him that she fell down and needs to be carried up to her apartment. However, once he picks her up, she bites him and transforms into a vampiric form as she repeatedly rips into him. As she sucks him dry, she snaps his neck in order to prevent him from becoming a vampire himself.

When Abby tells the Man what she did, he flips out. Knowing that this will bring police attention to the matter, he grabs his equipment and goes to get rid of the body. He drops into in to the river where it sinks and freezes. The next morning, Owen sees the Rubik’s cube solved. At school, he researches Morse code so that he can give Abby a guide and they can talk to each other through the wall. Kenny sees this and asks Owen what he was writing. He takes out an old pointer for projections and whips Owen across the face with it – cutting his cheek.

That night, Owen goes to the playground and Abby arrives. He asks her how she solved the puzzle and she explained that she just knew what to do. She asks him about the bandage on his face and she tells him that he needs to fight back, harder than he ever thought he could. She asks if she smells better and Owen tells her she does. He takes her to the local arcade and shows her how to play Mrs. Pac Man. He offers her some Now and Later but she declines. Seeing that Owen is hurt by the rejection, she takes one anyway. She ends up violently ill outside of the store and throws up the candy. Owen hugs her, recognizing it as a gesture of friendship, and Abby asks if he likes her. Owen tells her he does and Abby then asks “would you like me if I wasn’t a girl?” Owen tells her he doesn’t know and is confused, but is called home for dinner by his mother.

The Man is packing his tool kit and carefully handling a special bottle when Abby asks if he is going out again. The Man looks at her and says “Do I even have a choice anymore?” He turns away and continues to pack his bag when Abby reaches out and caresses his arm. He stops packing and lets her drift her hands over him, closing his eyes as if to remember something long since passed. He asks her not to see Owen anymore and Abby just looks at him mournfully.

The Man goes to the local high school and hides among the cars, waiting for anyone who is going to leave. He sneaks into a young man’s car and puts his kit on top of his leg. However, the kid who is driving home picks up his friend and the two drive to the gas station. Once the driver goes into to fill his tank, the passenger reaches back for his backpack and sees The Man lying there. The Man begins choking him while no one in the gas station notices. Knocking the boy out, the Man steals the car but ends up getting rammed off the road while reversing out of the gas station.

Pinned and with the victim’s friend’s coming to get to the car, the Man knows that he’s not going to be able to escape. He pulls out the special bottle he brought along and pours it all over his face, scarring himself beyond recognition – the victim from the opening scenes. Abby is knocking a message out to Owen when she hears a radio report about a man who burnt himself after attacking a young man.

Abby goes to the hospital to find The Man but she is told that he is on the ten floor in a restricted ward. She leaves and the nurse notices that she isn’t wearing shoes. Abby climbs up to the 10th floor and sees the Man’s face horribly scarred. He comes to the ledge and shows he can’t talk. They have a tender moment before the Man offers his neck to her, so that she can drink his blood. She drinks enough of his blood to make him go unconscious and he falls to his death below. The policeman returns to the room and sees the body as Abby leaves to go home. Abby climbs to Owen’s window and asks to come inside. He lets her in and she undresses, getting into bed with him. He’s surprised that she’s naked and then asks her if they can “go steady.” He tells her nothing would really change and Abby accepts. The next morning Owen wakes up to a letter “I had to leave and go home, or stay and die.”

Owen’s class goes to play ice hockey while Owen sits on the sidelines playing with a stick. Kenny and his friends come over to harass Owen but Owen tells Kenny that if he doesn’t leave him alone, he’ll hit him with the stick. Kenny tells Owen to give him the stick and lunges for it, but Owen hits him in the side of the head with it, ripping open Kenny’s ear. Before Owen’s gym teacher can react, the body of Owen’s neighbor is found and Owen’s teacher goes to shepherd the children away from the body as Kenny moans on the ground.

Owen tells Abby about what he did and Abby is happy for him.. Owen takes Abby to a private place that he knows underneath the complex (which even the parents don’t know about). He has her close her eyes and takes out his knife, cutting his thumb to perform a blood bond. Abby, smelling the blood, transforms and begins licking the blood which dropped on the floor. Hungry, but unwilling to hurt Owen, she runs outside and ends up attack Virginia. Virginia’s boyfriend chases Abby away, leaving Virginia half dead.

The policeman comes around again and interviews everyone in the complex. The policeman comes by and knocks on Abby’s door but Abby doesn’t open it for him. Once he goes away, she walks away on the squeaky floorboards and looks at some old puzzles lying on her table. Owen is frightened of Abby but doesn’t reveal her secret. When he visits her, he sees her old puzzles and a photo of a young boy wearing the Man’s glasses. Recognizing that the boy grew up into the Man, Owen gets freaked out and leaves.

She visits him the next night and asks if she can come inside because it’s a rule. Owen asks what happens if he doesn’t invite her in. She steps inside and begins to spasm as blood forces its way out of every pore in her body. Owen is horrified and invites her in, hugging her and asking what would have happened if he hadn’t. Abby says she doesn’t know. He gives her one of his mother’s old dresses and the two dance to music.

At the hospital, Virginia is given several pints of blood in a transfusion. When she comes to, she sees the bandage and smells the blood. She starts sucking the blood out of her arm to feed her thirst for blood when an orderly comes in. Outside of the room, the policeman asks Virginia’s boyfriend about the attacker and asks if it looked like the Man’s “daughter.” The orderly walks in and opens the blinds which cause Virginia (and by extension the orderly) to burst into flames.

The policeman goes back to the complex and knocks on the door which has no identification markers. Owen sees the cop and recognizes him but moves away, alerting the cop with the squeak of the floor. Owen hides under a table while the cop kicks in the door and looks for Abby. He finds a letter she left for Owen which tells him that she’s in the bathroom. The cop opens the door and sees Abby in the tub. He moves to open the shutters when Owen yells at him to stop. Abby awakens and attacks the policeman, killing him in front of Owen as he silently pleads with Owen to help. Owen shuts the door in horror and Abby joins him a few minutes later. She kisses him, leaving a bloody mark on his lips, and tells him it’s no longer safe to stay here.

Owen watches Abby leave in a taxi and it is shown that the policeman’s body is hidden in the secret apartment Owen took her to.

The next day at school, Owen goes to his after school swimming lesson with his Gym teacher when Kenny’s friends start a fire in the dumpster. Kenny’s brother locks the doors after the teacher leaves and forces everyone out of the pool. He takes Owen’s knife from him and throws him into the pool with an ultimatum: either Owen stays under water for three minutes, or Kenny’s brother cuts his eye out. He holds Owen underwater for a minute and almost kills him when Abby (off screen) bursts into the room in her vampiric form and slaughters the four attackers. She pulls Owen out of the water and hugs him.

The two leave New Mexico together in a train. Owen looks over Abby’s trunk in the train compartment and she knocks a message to him in morse code (either: “Kiss” or “I love you”). He taps back a message and mournfully looks out the window. He takes out a Now and Later and eats it, singing “eat some now, save some for later” as the train drives away.

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