A Must-Watcher

Based on true events, Netflix’s latest thriller series “The Watcher” is chilling and perfect for your next binge.


“All of the windows and doors in 657 Boulevard allow me to watch you and track you as you move through the house. Who am I? I am the Watcher and have been in control of 657 Boulevard for the better part of two decades now.” 

“The Watcher,” Netflix’s latest thriller series, was disturbingly creepy—it gave me chills and paranoia, fear, and an inescapable feeling that someone was watching me. The show follows characters Dean Brannock (Bobby Cannavale), his wife Nora Brannock (Naomi Watts), and their kids Ellie (Isabel Gravitt) and Carter Brannock (Luck David Blumm) as they are plagued with ominous letters sent by a mysterious person claiming to be “The Watcher.” Seeming to be a normal, happy family, the Brannocks buy the house under a risky financial move—unfamiliar with the hellish secrets of their suburban home that had appeared to be a peaceful haven for their family.

Directed by Ian Brennan and Ryan Murphy, the show dives into the unnerving and alarmingly real story of the stalking of 657 Boulevard (the same address used in the show) in Westfield, New Jersey. An article published in New York Magazine by Reeves Wiedeman featured a  family who bought their dream home on 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey–only to start receiving creepy letters from someone calling themself “The Watcher.” A spine-chilling subplot to the show was inspired by the horrifying stories from Westfield’s disturbing history, such as the John List murders from the 1970s. List disappeared after murdering his family in his home in Westfield, only to be caught in disguise 18 years later. 

The show is definitely chaotic. It’s layered with eerie characters, untold truths, and a deranged history of the house. Outside the characters’ world, I knew just as much as they did and the show made me feel like I was stuck in the same boat. At times I was positive I had pinned down just who the Watcher was, only to be disproved several times. I found myself just as helpless in the situation as the Brannocks were trying to find out their stalker, making it intensely addicting to watch. 

The mystery of the culprit became an obsession that would haunt not only the owners of 657 Boulevard–past and present–but viewers as well.

The casting was superb. Cannavale and Watts’ portrayal of Dean and Nora Brannock as they (especially Dean) became obsessed with solving the mystery while juggling their own financial and marital issues . Watching their fear and desperation flare as they felt helpless in a world where no one could be trusted and everyone was pitted against their family while also exploring familial tension was compelling. The actors nailed the strange personas associated with the overall eerie, bizarre and daunting world, making the show all the more mysterious and thrilling. 

However,  the plot twists and themes were confusing and overwhelming at times, leaving some ideas underdeveloped. The show threw in random themes like Satanism and cults, yet those ideas were never explored again. Some parts of the show just felt unfinished and not fully executed, and the focus was more on the thrill factor, which, don’t get me wrong, successfully caught me off guard several times. 

I definitely liked how, despite some ridiculous twists and turns, “The Watcher” kept me on edge. The show did an excellent job of making each and every character possible of being the villain, compelling the audience and leaving viewers stuck throwing suspicions against one character, only for it to be downright wrong.

I’d definitely recommend watching “The Watcher” for the mere excitement of it. When you realize the true Watcher of 657 Boulevard, you’ll be hiding under your covers and reminding yourself: it’s just a show. A thrilling, must-see show.