Birthdays are meant to be positive experiences, which is why Natalie Paxton (Kesti Morassi, Wolf Creek) is cheering as her daughter blows out the candles on her birthday cake and, later in the evening, looking in closets and under the bed for monsters with her. Wishes made? Check. Room cleared of monsters? Check. Well, all but Rosie’s uncle, but his frights are all well intentioned.

"absolutely unstoppable in its fierce atmosphere"

Domestic in its beginning, Surrogate - written by Beth King and David Willing (who also directs here) - opens with a shocker as Natalie, also a nurse, finds herself working at the Borden Medical Center late one night when a deranged woman - drinking some sort of toxic cleaning solution - collapses at a gas station and requires CPR and chest compressions. Suddenly, the pain the strange woman was complaining about is now Nat’s to have and to hold.

And I mean that quite literally as The Exorcist meets The Orphan in this Australian paranormal horror film. Surrogate, starring Kestie Morassi (Wolf Creek) and Jane Badler (TV’s ‘V’). The film arrives on digital platforms this September. And it makes quite a splash, too, drawing the viewer in as a very unnatural pregnancy is at its center

Willing, in his feature directorial debut, Surrogate, keeps the pace of this horror film quick and tight, bringing us into Nat’s predicament as she wakes up covered in blood from the waist down. What is happening to her is anybody’s guess, but this mystery illness overtakes Natalie who must struggle to keep her family from being destroyed in the wake of her “situation”.

Because all arrows are pointed at her. Even the Department of Child and Family Services wants to know what has happened to the baby she has mysteriously given birth to. What did she do to the baby?! Except Nat knows that there is no way in hell that she was pregnant. Her body says otherwise . . .

. . . JUST WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO HER?! A phantom pregnancy in reverse, it seems. And it is all due to the night where assisted the woman at the gas station.Surrogate

Louise Siverson (Prisoner, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries), Taysha Furragia, Ellie Stewart, and Ellie Tevelis co-star in the unsettling spooker. Surrogate is equal parts a slow burn horror flick and a ghost story as she is immediately haunted by the unstoppable screams of a baby, echoing down the halls of the hospital straight into her room.

This independent horror gem is absolutely unstoppable in its fierce atmosphere as the horror of the situation threatens to suffocate even the audience. The dread is palpable and so is the confusion as even Rose is impacted by the spookiness growing around the house and the family. Nat knows she wasn’t pregnant but the woman from Child Services suspects her of dumping the baby somewhere and threatens to take Rose from her.

And then Nat starts lactating. Something is seriously amiss here. But the bizarre keeps building and building as the eerie events keep doubling down on the fact of her pregnancy and, suddenly, the threats toward her family become more intense and Nat must make a choice between what once was and what is.

Surrogate will be available September 2nd for TVOD on Amazon and September 16th on Tubi and GoogleTV via Indie Rights. The one lingers for a long, long time. Prepare to be haunted.

4/5 stars

Film Details


MPAA Rating: Unrated.
90 mins
: David Willing
Beth King; David Willing
Kestie Morass; iJane Badler; Taysha Farrugia
: Horror
None of her little ducks came back.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Indie Rights
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 2nd for TVOD on Amazon and September 16th on Tubi and GoogleTV
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Written by Beth King and David Willing, in his feature directorial debut, Surrogate tells of Natalie Paxton (Morassi), a single mother and nurse, who falls mysteriously ill and struggles to stop her family from being destroyed