Welcome To The Funhouse
Episode 1 of Servant sets the scene perfectly for this creepy, twisted tale to follow. From here on out, it’s all downhill as the series descends into creepy suspense early on and refuses to let up, right the way through to the finale. For now though, we begin in the middle of the night, with rain lashing down on an empty street outside. A single car pulls up at the Turner’s house, and the inhabitants – Sean and Dorothy – hurry downstairs and answer the door. Sean introduces himself to the girl, Leanne Grayson, before Dorothy shows her upstairs.
Settling into her new room, the silent girl looks over a book labelled “Duties & Responsibilites” before being inducted properly at dinner. As day turns to night, Leanne settles into her role of looking after baby Jericho – a lifelike doll that resembles the Turner’s late child. Dorothy tells Leanne to look after it while she’s gone and as she leaves, Sean explains more about the doll, telling Leanne that it’s the only thing that brought Dorothy back from the brink of a psychotic break.
With no questions over what’s happening, Leanne takes the doll out for a walk, unsettling Sean as he realizes something isn’t quite right with this picture Looking through her things, he finds a strange wicca cross. When Dorothy returns home from her job, Sean presents their meal unenthusiastically, given how late she is returning home. After discussing Leanne’s religion, Julian arrives at the house in the morning and they discuss the situation and how weird the whole thing is. He laments his sister’s mental state while drowning his own sorrows in alcohol – a twisted sense of irony indeed.
The next day Sean dives back into his work, trying to ignore the unnerving atmosphere surrounding Leanne, while she prepares to put Jericho down for a nap. He repeats to her again that she can drop the charade but she refuses to listen. As she heads out, Sean hears coughing coming from the baby monitor and after hurrying upstairs, he looks in the cot to find a real child lying in the cot in place of the doll where we leave things wide open.
The key to a good horror comes from clever camera work and a tense atmosphere. Servant manages to absolutely nail both of these so far, with some unsettling scene composition and a clever use of camera work throughout the 35 minute opening episode. Leanne plays up to the creepy-girl trope perfectly too, with enough unanswered questions to keep you watching through to the next episode. Thankfully, with three episodes available today, that’s certainly something you’ll almost certainly be looking to do!