Netflix’s The Watcher review

I just binge watched Netflix’s The Watcher.  I was hooked the minute I saw the trailer – and it has Olivia Newton John’s song in it!  Very creepy trailer.  I posted the true story article a few weeks ago.  I think the show did a great job at pulling at all the strings that were mentioned in the article.

The creators of the show made American Horror Story which, from what I remember, also had a haunted house.  A lot of shows focus on a house making people scared and spooked. Even this show mentions how American it is to buy a house that you can not afford.  The main characters were so excited about getting this big, beautiful dream home that was way out of their league.  Of course that part was added for more drama – higher stakes for when everything goes terribly wrong.  It reminds me of hearing stories of people spending too much to buy into cohousing. I know one family had to refinance right away.  We do put a lot into our home purchases – money, hopes, dreams.  Like this TV show’s true story, sometimes your dream home turns into a nightmare. In this case, and mine, it was caused by the neighbors!

The family in the Watcher receive threatening letters with specific details on how the person was watching their house. They knew their names and details. So, naturally, they suspected all their neighbors – checking out who has a view of what and who can hear them in the yard.  The show elaborates on each neighbor and what makes them suspect.  It has a top cast and I found it very entertaining. The show also ends exactly like the true story (which I won’t spoil) as far as who the culprit turns out to be.

Cohousing tries to be the opposite.  A place where you can trust and rely on your neighbors. The trouble is that real people and problems can happen and it’s hard to deal with that as a group.  For example, many people move in to age in place, but what happens when those needs become too much for the neighbors?  Many families move in for the free babysitting. What happens if the free babysitter doesn’t believe in supervising kids or their older child inappropriately touches younger children – do you want that type of babysitter?  SIngle moms move in so their kids can play with the other children and have a network of neighbors. What if they become the target of the community’s bully and yelled at for their child climbing trees or playing loud music (even if it wasn’t their child)?  The problem isn’t the specifics of what happen but how the cohousing deals with it.  Some communities don’t want to ruffle feathers so continue to let bullies bully and children hurt each other.  So people leave cohouisng and you never hear from them again and the reasons. Even here in my blog where I try to be honest, I have “haters” who want me to stop talking.

I don’t want to give too much away from the show, but the family was so excited to move in and put all their investments and money on the line to buy this “safe” house in the suburbs, far from New York City.  The anonymous letters scared them and soon the house seems more of a burden than an escape.  There is a montage where the father commutes out of NYC and seems so beaten down arriving to their home after working so hard to keep it.  We all know the rule that you are not supposed to spend more than 30% of your income on your household but that is rare these days; to stay within those means.  It’d be nice and easy to just move whenever a neighbor (or house’s repairs) give you too much trouble, but financially that is not always possible.  A house and a neighborhood is a commitment so we all have to decide what time, energy, and money makes it worth it or not.  For the real family in the Watcher, they never even moved in. The show gives a horror twist to what could have happened if they did.

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
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