The film takes place in a wintry and rather miserable suburb of Stockholm in the early 1980s. Oskar Eriksson is a very normal and lonely 12-year-old. He undergoes the annoying bullying of his classmates as best he can. Back home, where he lives alone with his mother, he collects newspaper cuttings about serial killers and things like that. On a tree not far from his home, a dead boy is found, who seems to have been ritually murdered. At the same time, Oskar meets Eli, who has moved into an apartment next door together with an older man. Little Eli is lonely as Oskar is, and the two make friends.