Netflix’s The Watcher is a Nightmare Come True
Title: The Watcher
Available On: Netflix
Run-Time: 7 Episodes
Released: October 13, 2022
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Created By: Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan
Starring: Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Coolidge
A family moves from New York City to the suburbs of Westfield, New Jersey to lead a safer life. Despite finding and paying more than three million dollars for their dream house at 657 Boulevard, their dream turns into a nightmare as they begin receiving ominous letters from an anonymous author. This author refers to themself as “The Watcher.”
The Watcher is chilling in how frighteningly realistic the story is. This Netflix limited series is based on reports written in 2018. Whenever the words “based on a true story” flash across the screen, the dread sinks in. The Watcher is not a fun, creative story meant to scare viewers around Halloween. Unfortunately this horror series was a reality for a real family.
With a global pandemic plaguing our world in the past few years, this series becomes especially unsettling. The general public was instructed to stay home where they would be safe. This series proves that even in a time before an unprecedented pandemic altered our lives, no place can ever be completely safe.
This series felt more like a reality show than a documentary. It became more difficult to remember that the events unfolding on screen had actually happened as the series unfolded. The episodes fly by despite the reality that not much actually happens. The family is forced to run in circles asking for help and speculating who could be threatening them. Viewers are along for the ride, flipping back and forth between suspects.
For the genre, there was too much unnecessary sexual content. The scenes that starred the family’s teenage daughter were especially uncomfortable.
One of the creators of The Watcher is Ryan Murphy— one of the faces behind Monster: Dahmer and American Horror Story. Once his name flashed across the screen, the tone of the show made a lot more sense. It seems that Murphy’s work runs on the creepy side. Something as simple as one of the family members getting into a car was filmed and edited in a way that had an ominous edge to it.
This story as a whole was reminiscent of the Zodiac killer, not only because of the letters, but also because of the outcome. It is well known that the identity of the Zodiac was never discovered. Similarly, at the end of the final episode, it is revealed that the identity of The Watcher has yet to be determined. That last episode served as a cruel reminder that this story is all too real. The family this series is based on has yet to get closure on this terrifying circumstance. As a show, this makes the series frustrating. Hours are dedicated to navigating the investigative process only to receive dead ends.
Have you watched The Watcher? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!