Ryan Murphy’s latest horror is landing on Netflix just in time for Halloween.
The Watcher: Ryan Murphy’s deal with Netflix has already yielded the likes of Ratched and, more recently, Dahmer.
Upcoming series The Watcher is the latest collaboration between the American Horror Story creator and the streamer, and it’s set to land just in time for Halloween.
The seven episode horror is inspired by the true story of a New Jersey suburban family who, shortly after moving into their new home, are sent a slew of terrifying letters signed by ‘The Watcher’.
The likes of Bobby Cannavale, Naomi Watts and Jennifer Coolidge have been enlisted to play key roles, and a trailer teases that viewers are in for quite the tense watch as the Brannocks begin to suspect their neighbours of sending the letters – and worse.
Read on for everything you need to know about Murphy’s latest horror.
Netflix’s The Watcher release date
The Watcher will be released on 13th October 2022 at 8am BST.
All seven episodes are set to land at once. It’s billed as a limited series, which usually means a one-season arc.
Who stars in The Watcher cast on Netflix?
Bobby Cannavale (The Irishman, Blonde) and Naomi Watts (The Impossible, Mulholland Drive) star as Dean and Nora Brannock, a married couple excited to move into their new home in an idyllic-looking New Jersey suburb.
Luke David Blumm (The King of Staten Island) and Isabel Gravitt (Little Fires Everywhere) play their children, Carter and Ellie, while plenty of A-listers appear as their suspicious neighbours and the suburb’s wider community.
The White Lotus’s Jennifer Coolidge is Karen, a realtor and Nora’s old friend. Richard Kind and Margo Martindale appear as Mitch and Mo, the Brannocks’ loud and overbearing neighbours. Mia Farrow plays neighbour Pearl, while Terry Kinney plays her brother Jasper, who likes to sneak into the Brannocks’ house and hide in the dumbwaiter.
After the Brannock family moves into what was supposed to be their suburban dream home, it quickly becomes a living hell. Ominous letters from someone calling themselves ‘The Watcher’ are just the beginning as the neighborhood’s sinister secrets come spilling out.
It is inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Watcher’ house in New Jersey.
Behind the camera, Ryan Murphy executive produces, and he co-created the series alongside Ian Brennan, who also worked on Dahmer and The Politician.
Is The Watcher based on a true story?
Yes, The Watcher is inspired by a real-life family, the Broadduses, who bought a house on 657 Boulevard in New Jersey suburb Westfield in 2014. Before they moved in, they received a disturbing letter addressed to ‘The New Owner’ sent by someone who called themselves ‘The Watcher’.
Over the course of a few years, they received several letters referring to their children as “young blood” and claiming the house didn’t like the renovations they were undertaking.
The first letter read: “657 Boulevard has been the subject of my family for decades now and as it approaches its 110th birthday, I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming.
“My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time. Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard? Why are you here? I will find out.”
Subsequent letters became increasingly threatening.
The Netflix series is based on a 2018 article by Reeves Wiedeman which was first published in New York Magazine, and has made some changes to the story.
For one, the family’s surname has been changed, and while the Broadduses had three young children when they bought the house, Netflix’s Brannocks have only two.
As of today and despite investigations by both private detectives and police officers, the Watcher hasn’t been identified, though suspects have included several neighbours and even the Broadduses themselves.
In 2015, the Broadduses tried to sue the previous house owners for failing to disclose that they too had received a letter from ‘The Watcher’ before they moved in, but the case was dismissed.
In 2019, they sold the house for $959,000. The Broadusses originally bought it for $1.3 million.
Netflix’s Watcher trailer
Netflix has released a trailer for the series teasing what’s to come for the Brannocks.