The Watcher Netflix: How many episodes are there, cast, and reviews of the Netflix thriller

Eerie ensemble drama The Watcher is coming to Netflix and here's all you need to know...

Naomi Watts on set of The Watcher
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Watcher is coming to Netflix ahead of Halloween scary season and fans are wondering how many episodes to expect, who will be in it, and what the critics think.

The Brannock family moves into what was supposed to be their suburban dream home, but it quickly becomes a living hell. An ominous letters from someone calling themselves “The Watcher” are just the beginning as the neighbourhood’s sinister secrets come spilling out. Those settling down to watch the series are wondering how many episodes there are to binge, and who to expect to pop up in the cast. We have this, and other burning questions about the shocking mystery thriller answered.

Viewers have been wondering if The Watcher is based on a true story (opens in new tab), as events depicted are so terrifying - the answer is shocking. Questions have also been raised about filming locations - The Watcher filmed (opens in new tab) across a variety of places, and we reveal exactly where. For those wanting to know if the season finale revealed The Watcher's true identity, we have a handy recap in The Watcher ending explained (opens in new tab) - this does come with spoilers.

How many episodes of The Watcher are there?

There are seven episodes of The Watcher coming to Netflix when it launches on 13th October, 2022. After the first episode is streamed, all remaining six episodes will be available for fans to binge or watch at their own leisure.

The story is centred on a Dean and Nora Brannock, who just purchased their dream home in the idyllic suburb of Westfield, New Jersey. But after putting all of their savings into closing the deal they soon realise the neighbourhood is less than welcoming. 

There’s a kooky older woman named Pearl and her brother Jasper, who sneaks into the Brannock’s house and hides in their dumbwaiter. There’s Karen the realtor and an old acquaintance of Nora’s, who makes them feel like they don’t really belong, and nosy neighbours Mitch and Mo, who don’t seem to understand property lines. 

Their icy welcome quickly turns into a full-blown living hell when ominous letters from someone calling themselves “The Watcher” start arriving, terrorising the Brannocks to their breaking point as the neighbourhood’s sinister secrets come spilling out. 

The Watcher. (L to R) Isabel Marie Gravitt as Ellie Brannock, Luke David Blumm as Carter Brannock, Bobby Cannavale as Dean Brannock, Naomi Watts as Nora Brannock in episode 107 of The Watcher.

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Watcher: Cast

  • Naomi Watts (Twin Peaks, The Loudest Voice) as Nora Brannock
  • Bobby Cannavale (Third Watch, Mr. Robot) as Dean Brannock
  • Mia Farrow (The Omen, Third Watch) as Pearl Winslow
  • Noma Dumezweni (Black Earth Rising, Dr Who) as Theodora Birch
  • Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart, Hollywood)  as William "Bill" Webster / John Graff
  • Richard Kind (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Big Mouth) as Mitch
  • Terry Kinney (The Little Things, Inventing Anna) as Jasper Winslow
  • Heather Hunter Hall (When They See Us, Hunters) as Dakota
  • Isabel Gravitt (Little Fires Everywhere, American Housewife) as Ellie Brannock
  • Luke David Blumm (The King of Staten Island) as Carter Brannock
  • Margo Martindale (Sneaky Pete, The Good Wife) as Maureen/Mo
  • Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie, Legally Blonde) as Karen Calhoun

Actress Naomi Watts spoke to Stylist (opens in new tab) about landing the role of Nora in the series. She was initially unfamiliar with the story behind The Watcher,  and said "I pretty much said yes, right away, without having read any scripts. I’ve played in this genre at other times in my career, you know? I’m always drawn to mystery and fear and thrills and even horror sometimes, so it felt like a good combination of things".

On whether she's a fan of true crime dramas, she added "I’m into them, yeah. But I think being in them is definitely right up my alley. I’ve just always gravitated towards them; mystery is a fun genre. And to talk about it with other people".

A mysterious figure watches the Brannock house in The Watcher

(Image credit: Eric Liebowitz/Netflix)

The Watcher: Reviews

Both critic and audience responses to The Watcher have so far been mixed.

ReadySteadyCut (opens in new tab) were very positive about the series, saying "there’s a welcome vein of ambiguous supernaturalism in The Watcher that gives it something a lot of true-crime stories lack. Often, the piano music tinkling through old intercoms, neighbourhood weirdos hiding in dumbwaiters, and rumours of blood sacrifice cults feel more like the work of Mike Flanagan. It makes for a disconcerting vibe that helps the show deliver Halloween thrills without veering too far away from the core horror of being watched by persons unknown and unseen. It’ll be mega-popular, make no mistake about that. It probably deserves the attention".

Variety (opens in new tab) were less than impressed however, arguing "By the time we reach a coda demonstrating the trauma and dislocation both Dean and Nora feel, it’s almost hard to know how to take it: Their world is one of so little gravity that it’s hard to understand, based on the oddity and randomness we’ve seen up until the show’s ending, why these characters in an unrelatable, ultimately unremarkable fiction didn’t just bounce back".

A Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) audience member wrote "This series will keep you on your toes! With the constant twists and turns it's worth the watch. A perfect show to enjoy right before Halloween. It's definitely the type of show to make you triple check the lock on your front door......"

However, another added "The Watcher is ridiculously scattered and plays out more like a dark comedy than anything else; a significant tonal deviation from the Netflix series' chilling source material".

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