Netflix’s supremely silly but completely addictive new series The Watcher grips from the start with a creepy premise that everyone can relate to.
You could call it a haunted house story without the ghosts because it’s about a family who buys a new home and finds themselves terrorised by a stalker who calls himself The Watcher.
Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale play the soon-to-be unhappy couple tormented by a series of unsettling letters.
I think what makes the series so effective is the first title card we see on screen: ‘Based on a true story’.”
“Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?” says one. “Once I know your children’s names I will call to them and draw them to me.”
I think what makes the series, from Hollywood mega-producer Ryan Murphy, so effective is the first title card we see on screen: “Based on a true story”.
I’m sure he’s taking plenty of dramatic licence, but just knowing this actually happened makes everything extra creepy as you put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you’d react under the same circumstances.
(Turning the home into an Airbnb would be my first course of action).
If I had a criticism, it’s that in order to keep the mystery alive across seven episodes, The Watcher does turn into a bit of a not-so-subtle whodunnit, with a list of suspects who all act so suspiciously you can’t seriously believe any of them will actually be unmasked as The Watcher.
Even though I spent half my time scoffing at the plot holes, I couldn’t stop watching.”
Speaking of suspects, for a series as camp and silly as this, I’m surprised they managed to get such big names to appear, including White Lotus’s Jennifer Coolidge, The Leftovers’ Margo Martindale and Mia Farrow, who lends the whole thing some serious Rosemary’s Baby vibes.
Even though I spent half my time scoffing at the plot holes or getting overwhelmed by the stench of red herrings, I couldn’t stop watching.
I suppose I could have just Googled the real-life case to learn the outcome, but it’s to The Watcher’s credit that I saved that until the conclusion.
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