The year is 1984, and Michael Jackson's “Thriller” is changing lives on the rural East Coast of New Zealand. Boy is a dreamer who loves Michael Jackson and dreams of some day meeting him. He lives with his younger brother Rocky who has imaginary magic powers, their Nan, and a tribe of deserted cousins. Boy’s other hero, his father, Alamein is the subject of Boy’s fantasies, and he imagines him as a deep sea diver, war hero and a close relation of Michael Jackson (he can even dance like him). In reality Alamein is an inept, wannabe gangster who has been in jail for robbery. When Alamein returns home after seven years away, Boy is forced to confront the man he thought he remembered, find his own potential and learn to get along without the hero he had been hoping for.