In the first trailer for the Netflix limited series The Watcher, Bobby Cannavale (The Irishman), who is half Cuban, and Oscar-nominated actress Naomi Watts (The Impossible), star as Dean and Nora Brannock, a couple with three children, whose lives are forever changed after they purchased a home in an affluent area of New Jersey.
Based on the true-life story of Derek and Maria Broaddus, who purchased a six-bedroom house in Westfield, New Jersey, in 2014, The Watcher follows the family as they begin to receive threatening letters in their mailbox from an unknown person who references their children and the history of the house. For five years, the stalker wrote creepy things to the family like, “allow me to watch you and track you as you move through the house” and referred to their children as “young blood.”
The trailer, which was released at Netflix’s 2022 TUDUM event, begins with the Brannocks’ teenage daughter reading the first letter sent by The Watcher after they move in. If you know the real story of the family, it’s evident right away that the makers of the series have taken plenty of creative license with the narrative. For example, none of the real Broaddus children were teenagers and, more importantly, the real family was too frightened to actually move into the house, unlike the Brannocks who do in the series.
There also seems to be a lot more horror imagery in the Netflix series with Dean and Nora seeing random individuals in their yard looking at their home. To give the series an even more sinister feel, The Watcher has been given an ominous voice when reading some of the lines from his letter: “Your house is my obsession. And now you are, too.”
We’ll see if Cannavale and Watts have better luck at finding out who is behind the chilling letters. The real family ended up selling the house in 2019 at a substantial loss and never solved the mystery, even after hiring private investigators and former FBI agents to help.
The Watcher, starring Bobby Cannavale, premieres on Netflix on October 13, 2022.