Review: ’The Watcher’ is eerily suspenseful

“The Watcher” quickly rose to Netflix’s top ten list after it attracted a massive audience compelled by its mysterious plot, intriguing elements of horror and episodes that always left viewers with a cliffhanger.

“The Watcher” quickly tosses its audience into a creepy, intriguing, suspenseful, mysterious, plotline that thickens with every episode as it focuses on the Brannock’s, an affluent family that just moved into a multimillion dollar mansion located at 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey.

After moving into their new home, the Brannock family quickly discovers idiosyncratic neighbors who don’t care too much for the new residents of Westfield. Shortly after Dean Brannock discovers an odd letter in his mailbox from someone calling themselves “the watcher.” At first mildly creepy and assumed to be a prank, the letters quickly turn dark and ominous.

Of course, the police are of little help, and as the episodes progress, Dean Brannock does some digging into the history of his family’s new mansion and discovers some haunting secrets. As the list of possible suspects grows, this mystery series becomes anything but predictable or cheesy.

The watcher truly could be anyone, perhaps Dean himself, and whenever you think the characters have finally discovered the culprit, a wrench is thrown into the works and the plot thickens once more.

“The Watcher” isn’t just about a mysterious stranger sending ominous letters to a family, though. It also touches on political themes, relationships, and current events.

The first episode touches on political correctness, and as Dean contemplates moving his family out of their new home, Nora protests by asking Dean if their children should be “raised in a country where whenever one is threatened or bullied, one gives up and backs away like a coward”.

In another episode, Dean is accused of racism for telling his 16-year-old daughter she is not allowed to see a 19-year-old black man to whom she is attracted due to the age difference, however, this leads to accusations of bigotry.

The music of the story is psychologically stirring, arousing a wide range of emotions ranging from unease to suspense and action-packed chase music as the Brannock family fights for answers.

The actors, including stars such as Naomi Watts as Nora Brannok, Bobby Cannavale as Dean Brannok, and Mia Farrow as Pearl Winslow, allow for fascinating character development throughout as they create unique, relatable identities throughout the oneseason series.

Social and financial pressures are also portrayed throughout this show, which is based on a true story of the Brannock family that purchased 657 Boulevard and almost moved in in 2014 before receiving eerie letters from someone calling themselves “the watcher.”

The fact that this television show is based on true events only adds to this show’s fear factor, especially considering that whoever was sending those letters in real life was never caught.

Who knows, maybe “the watcher” is watching the show on Netflix right this very minute. Maybe they’re laughing at the fact that they got away with their scheme, that their letters were never traced back to their hand, that they’re still out there, possibly writing more letters to other hapless home owners…

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