Dakota Fanning plays Liz, who lives with her husband and two children (one is a 14 yr old boy from her husband's prior marriage, the other is a young girl) in the old west. She is a midwife, but is mute and communicates through sign language. A new reverend (Guy Pearce) comes to their church. The moment Liz hears his voice she is terrified. She is convinced the man is dangerous. Eli, her husband does not believe her. Slowly it becomes clear she is right as strange and nasty things start to happen, even though her husband thinks it is done by Nathan, a man whose newborn baby died during labor and blames Liz who delivered it. Liz decides she is going to murder him and sneaks of at night. When she finds her daughter's doll in the bed of The Reverend instead of him, she understands her family is in danger. As she is rushing back her husband Eli gets knifed by The Reverend, and left to die as she returns. Her husband's final request is for his son to take them up in the mountains where grandpa (his father) lives. With a horse and carriage, Liz and her two children manage to flee from The Reverend as he sets the farm on fire.