Netflix's new TV miniseries "The Watcher" offers a horror-movie-type look into the story behind a New Jersey couple's purchase of their $1.3 million dream home -- and their disavowal of it at a significant loss without ever moving in.
The seven-episode series, which dropped all at once on Thursday, is the streaming giant's No. 1 TV show in the U.S. as of Monday's data. It's based on the true story of the Broaddus family and what happened (or didn't happen) at 657 Boulevard in Westfield but admittedly takes liberties with core plot points.
Brought to you by the same two creators who just gave you "Dahmer Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story," and whose cinematographic prowess transcends genre (remember them from "Glee?"), "The Watcher" does fictionalize some elements of the story -- and those who know it will recognize a big one in the first episode -- but the haunt is real.
If you're like others who have heard of the series, you may be wondering a few things. Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions that don't need to come with a spoiler alert. And check out the official trailer below.
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Non-spoiler Alert! 6 Answers to 'The Watcher' Questions
- There's a lake in Westfield, New Jersey? Nope, the series itself was actually filmed in Westchester County's Rye. The house in the TV series is much larger and was built in 2016, two years after the Broaddus family bought the 657 Boulevard home for $1.3 million. Both homes do, in fact, have six bedrooms.
- So when did the letters start? True to the true story, the first letter came days after the Broaddus family closed.
- How many kids did the family have? In real life, the family that bought "The Watcher" house had three children, and all of them were younger than the two parented by Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale in the miniseries.
- Did the previous owners get letters too? The miniseries takes some liberties with that one. The owners who sold to the Broaddus family did get one letter from "The Watcher" but didn't take it seriously, according to USAToday. That letter became the crux of a lawsuit filed by the Broadduses that was eventually thrown out.
- What's with the neighbors in the lawn chairs? The characters played by Margo Martindale and Richard Kind in the miniseries did in fact exist and the Broaddus family's housepainter told The Cut he did see them sitting on lawn chairs watching the home at 657 Boulevard at least once.
- Was the real Watcher ever caught? Nope. And what makes you think it's just one person?
Interested in learning more? The New York Magazine author whose initial expose inspired the Netflix series has taken another deep dive into the case, four years later. We won't spoil any more of the fun for you.