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Photo: Derm Carberry/Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY

Television

‘SurrealEstate’ episode 5 review: Misunderstood kid brings hair-raising chills

Father Phil confronts his religious past.

On SurrealEstate, the folks at the Roman Agency aren’t unfamiliar with working for high profile clients. Previously, Susan helped a famous horror writer find a home. In tonight’s episode, Luke and company find the perfect recording studio for a Grammy award winning rapper, Damon, to finish his next album. Unfortunately for everyone, the studio is inside a home with an eerie history.

The Cortana House used to be owned by an oil tycoon that haunts the place. Auggie and Father Phil have a close call but are able to dispatch the spirit but Luke still senses someone else in the home. Through the former priest’s research, he discovers the building used to be an orphanage owned by the church where single women could go and give birth discreetly to maintain their reputation while their newborn was put up for adoption.

One of the kids, who passed away before he could find a home, roams the house looking for someone to play with. SurrealEstate once again creates some chilling scenes using the young boy. Unlike episode two, this kid sends shivers down your spine and the show takes a less is more approach. He’s smartly utilized to maximize the suspense.

He is mostly unseen but his actions can be unnerving. He randomly pushes his toys such as firetrucks and slinkies at the right moments to generate scares. His voice appearing on the track is pretty creepy and they choose the most opportune times to actually show the boy to keep you on your toes. From a quick glance in a mirror to an unsuspecting game of Guess Who (not the board game), it can be quite startling.  

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Photo: Derm Carberry/Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY

However, the child is never portrayed as sinister but maybe a little misunderstood. There’s still an innocence to him and it’s a little cute when Damon collaborates with him on a song before things take a turn. He’s been one of the more interesting “haunts of the week.”

The religious tie-in with the Cortana House allows us to explore Father Phil more and his inner conflict with his old job. We learn from one of the sisters that his parishioners still speak highly of him and in his confession to an image of Jesus, though it may be jaded, he admits how much he enjoyed what he was doing and misses it all. It’s just his lifestyle that the Church doesn’t agree with. This turmoil brings complexity to the character and adds a personal touch rather than being Luke’s research specialist.

SurrealEstate also furthers the slow burn of Luke’s back story. The mother’s abandonment of Ghost Child makes Luke reflect on his own relationship with his mom. We’ve seen how contentious it can be so he turns to his father for some insight. Over a game of bowling, Luke asks his dad for the real reason why his mom left them but Daddy Roman is hesitant to tell him the truth probably to protect his son. The mystery is bugging our protagonist but hopefully we’ll receive answers in the future.

“Ft. Ghost Child” is a second attempt at a child horror story and it delivers this time around. With clever use of simple effects and limited but effective actual screen time of the kid, the episode creates a more spine-tingling experience.

New episodes of SurrealEstate air Friday nights on Syfy.

'SurrealEstate' episode 5 review: Misunderstood kid brings hair-raising chills
SurrealEstate E 5 Review: 'Ft. Ghost Child'
“Ft. Ghost Child” is a second attempt at a child horror story and it delivers this time around. With clever use of simple effects and limited but effective actual screen time of the kid, the episode creates a more spine-tingling experience.
Reader Rating4 Votes
7.3
One of the more hair-raising episodes.
Father Phil's inner turmoil is done well.
The resolution gets a little too emotional and melodramtic between Luke and the young boy.
7.5
Good

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