We’re suckers for true crime stories here at The Handbook, with Netflix’s The Good Nurse, Sky’s Friend of the Family, and Disney+’s Candy just some of the based-on-true-events dramas we’ve had on our watchlists lately.
And Netflix is offering up another tantalising edition to that list in the form of its new miniseries The Watcher, created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, who both recently made Netflix’s hugely popular Dahmer series.
The Watcher centres on a married couple, The Brannocks, who move to their dream house in New Jersey, and seem set to happily settle down. Things start to go seriously awry however when they realise that they’re being watched and harassed by a stalker. They begin receiving mysterious letters, signed by “The Watcher.” The series is a blend of horror and thriller, with The Watcher’s letters becoming increasingly terrifying, and is based on a real-life case that occurred in New Jersey in 2014.
It boasts an impressive cast too: Bobby Cannavale, who recently starred in Netflix’s Blonde, plays husband Dean Brannock, while Naomi Watts, who’s no stranger to unnerving horror having appeared in Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks, plays his wife Nora. Meanwhile, Isabell Gravitt and Luke David Blumm play their children. Also featuring is Jennifer Coolidge, who recently starred in The White Lotus, who plays Nora’s old friend Karen, while Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Richard Kind and The Americans’ Margo Martindale play Mitch and Mo, the annoying and loud neighbours of the Brannocks. Also in the neighbourhood are Pearl (Mia Farrow) and Jasper (Terry Kinney).
In the real-life case, the family was called The Broadduses and moved into a New Jersey suburb in 2014. They began receiving creepy letters from someone called The Watcher, who seemed to take offense at their moving in and claimed the house held dark secrets, as well as ominously calling their children “young blood.” The letters became increasingly disturbing and threatening. Much like Inventing Anna, The Watcher takes much of its story details from an article in New York magazine, published in 2018. The real-life Watcher has never been identified.
You can get a glimpse of the unnerving thriller by watching the trailer above, and dive into the whole series when its seven episodes are released on 13th October.