The Watcher On Netflix Is a True Story of a Menacing House And Is Worth A Watch!

The netflix series, The Watcher, uses the traditional setting of a palatial house to explore a refreshing take on real life incidents of horror.

Old houses have always intrigued me, and have caught my fancy. There is something about them that fascinate me to no end. They witness countless moments of the lives of the inhabitants, and while the dwellers move on, they stand steadfast with their quiet presence like mute spectators. So, when I chanced upon the trailer of Netflix’s latest offering called ‘The Watcher’, I was hooked.

The show which falls into the horror/thriller genre revolve around a palatial house in the suburbs which is bought by a typical American family of four in a bid to move away from the hustle-bustle of city life.

But things go awry, and what follows is a terrifying depiction of the family’s bizarre encounters in the imposing but eerie precincts of the house.

The miniseries is created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, and it grabs you from the word go. The show commences with the introduction of the Brannock family, which consists of parents Nora (Naomi Watts) and Dean (Bobby Cannavale) and their two children, the chirpy Carter and your average teenager, Ellie. The Brannock family has put in all their savings into buying the luxurious abode, and so they are overjoyed when they finally buy the house.

Little do they know as to what lurks behind the opulence and the grandeur which reflects through the shiny walls of 657 Bouelvard.

The Watcher is a horror-thriller that remains true to its genre

Just as the Brannock family begins to revel in the surroundings of their plush house, an ominous letter makes its appearance in their mailbox. The sinister letter is supposedly written by someone who calls himself/herself The Watcher. The letter has malicious contents which unsettles Nora and Dean, and they are petrified.

The Watcher as the one writing the letters calls himself writes things which are bound to unnerve and make anyone ill at ease. He welcomes the Brannocks and states that in the 1920s his grandfather watched over the house, and now it’s his turn.

He mentions that the house wants young blood and also expresses his displeasure in the fact that the Brannocks are looking to renovate certain parts of the house. Fair enough, the letter runs shivers down the spine of not just the Brannock family, but even the viewers.

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To add to the creepy undercurrents, we have a number of oddball neighbours who are eccentric and each one a possible suspect as probably the one writing the letters. But it is the house which is an entity in itself, a unique character per se with distinct features, be it the quaint Dumb Waiter, the secret rooms or the unfinished basement which give you the heebie-jeebies.

With each episode, the mystery deepens, and we are left with more questions than answers. Karen Coulhoun (Jennifer Coolidge) provides some comic relief in her portrayal of Nora’s friend and the realtor who sells them the menacing house.

How is The Watcher inspired from real life events?

It is hard to fathom that the show is based on a true story. But it further lends a certain credibility to the otherwise bizarre series of events that unfold in the show. It is based on a true story of the Broaddus family who bought this house in Westfield, New Jersey.

What I liked about the show was how it was able to throughout envelop me into a sense of dread that ceased to leave me even after I watched the show in its entirety.

The protagonists Bobby Cannavale, and Naomi Watts played their parts to perfection in depicting a terrified yet frustrated couple who are stuck in a horrid situation.

It was interesting to see Bobby Cannavale grapple with his role of the protector who is almost on the verge of paranoia because he could not keep his family safe.

The show is layered, and attempts to delineate the seemingly structured role of the man of the house in the family set-up to watch out for the other members, so much so that it drives him to the brink of losing his mind.

Naomi Watts plays the vulnerable wife, yet she is not depicted as someone who moves into the role of a woman in distress. She is a strong woman who is a successful artist and who does not stand behind the shadows of her husband to protect her family from the impending dangers that the letters pose.

But it, also, is flawed

The ending of the show may be a dampener of sorts for most of the viewers, though. Open endings are not relished by all, and many a time it feels that the audience has been taken to a point of crescendo and then made to fall flat.

The same stands true for ‘The Watcher’.

But the only justification one may be able to offer is that the actual case is a cold case too.

Having said that, it doesn’t take away the brilliant atmospheric scare-ride that the show manages one to take on. As the plot thickens with each episode, the adrenalin soars.

The Watcher is a perfect example of how a menacing newspaper article can be made into a gripping show that not only takes us on a thrilling ride, but also makes us look hard at the depravities of the world we dwell in.

Image source: Still from Trailer of The Watcher, and Nomadsoulphotos free on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Meha Sharma

Meha has worked as a Business Analyst in an elite IT firm and as a full time professor in management colleges. Having earned an MBA degree in Human Resource Management and an MA degree in read more...

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