Key Points:

A $60 million Hollywood movie starring teen sensation Ashley Tisdale begins filming in a restored West Auckland manor house tomorrow.

The film, They Came From Upstairs and described as Home Alone meets Gremlins, is about a group of kids trying to protect their holiday home from invading aliens.

In a notice to neighbours, Auckland-based production company New Upstairs Productions said filming would run for 30-40 days from tomorrow to April 18, with no filming in weekends.

Actress-singer Ashley Tisdale shot to fame in the High School Musical films. Director John Schultz directed 2005 film The Honeymooners. Writer Mark Burton's credits include Madagascar and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Yesterday, crew were putting the finishing touches to the set, a two-storey, 22-room manor that presides over 5.5ha of rolling fields. The property was valued at $3m last October. The Herald on Sunday understands film-makers spent $700,000 restoring the house, which was shifted from Remuera in 1997. Then known as Plumley Manor, it has been a backpackers and a brothel.

The owners, a couple with four children, will live in a cottage on site during filming. Cast will not stay on site.