Joe wakes up alone in his father’s farmhouse in rural Ireland. He’s completely cut off from society, as evidenced by an unplugged and dusty iPhone that sits on his kitchen counter. He’s lived here long enough to establish a monotonous routine: get up, eat, get dressed, cut turf.
On this day however, he is pulled out of that routine when he hits something the ground with his spade: not one bog body, but three. They’re the corpses of three men in varying stages of decay, but the peat in the bog has maintained them enough that Joe sees familiarity in their faces. He pulls them from the ground and leaves them in the garden, choosing to deal with the situation in the morning. However when the sun rises, he awakes to the sound of their conversation: the bog bodies have come alive.
Joe is horrified by these creatures, but is kind to them. He speaks to them gently, names them (as they’re unable to remember very much about their lives), gathers the trinkets that they’ve brought out of the ground for safekeeping, and helps them amble about. In short order, these Lads become his friends – helping him work the land, raiding his closet, and gathering around a bonfire. That evening, the men share intimate conversation about life and death, and Joe finally shares something that he hasn’t talked to anyone about: he reveals that he’s stuck in this bog because he’s lost everything: his father, his girlfriend, and most importantly his son, who was killed in an unexpected and tragic accident.
The next morning, the Lads offer Joe a way out of his pain: the bog. They present it to him as just “laying down” and giving himself to the land. It’s a warm invitation to someone who hasn’t connected with anyone in a very long time.
Joe helps the Lads dig a hole and crawls in with them. At the last moment, one of them remembers that their trinkets have been left in the farmhouse. Joe runs to get them and a trinket of his own – a toy of his son’s. It wakes him from his reverie and he heads back outside to tell the Lads that he’s chosen to continue living. But when he gets to the grave, the Lads are Lads no longer – they’ve reverted to inanimacy. He laughs about the absurdity and cries about the loss, burying his friends and his son’s toy with care. As he stands over the grave, he hears his iPhone – now plugged in – ringing.
Joe turns from the grave and walks home to answer the call.