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Netflix wins bidding war for terrifying true story The Watcher

I don't know about you, but I love a good true horror story. Well maybe not one of true death and destruction (I leave that to the movies thank you very much) but a real-life CREEPY story is always welcomed to me. And one of the creepier true tales of terror our there is an article by Reeves Wiedeman published on New York Magazine’s website The Cut. The article tells about a creepy stalker whose menacing letters kept a family from moving into their New Jersey dream house.

You can read a rundown below.

Anyhow, today we have word that, following a ferocious bidding battle that involved such competitors as Jason Blum (GET OUT, HALLOWEEN), Warner Bros, and producer Roy Lee (STEPHEN KING'S IT), Paramount and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot, along with Amazon and Fox (wow), Netflix has snagged the feature rights to THE WATCHER. This will be one of the biggest deals this year, and Netflix will pay seven figures for the rights which include the original article and the rights of the homeowners who’ve lived the nightmare for four years.

Here's a rundown on the story via Deadline:

The article begins in June 2014, when Derek and Maria Broaddus were preparing to move with their three children into the dream house they bought for $1.3 million in tony Westfield. Derek found a peculiar welcome letter in the mailbox addressed to the new occupant. The anonymous writer detailed his long history with the house, and divulged details about the family that were more than disturbing as the letter went on. “How did you end up here?” the writer asked. “Did 657 Boulevard call to you with its force within?” The letter went on: 657 Boulevard has been the subject of my family for decades now and as it approaches its 110th birthday, I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming. My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time. Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard? Why are you here? I will find out… “You have children. I have seen them. So far I think there are three that I have counted,” the anonymous correspondent wrote, before asking if there were “more on the way”: Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Better for me. Was your old house too small for the growing family? Or was it greed to bring me your children? Once I know their names I will call to them and draw them too [sic] me.”

The new homeowners sought out the police, and several other letters arrived — the letter writer used the word “blood” often — and the sellers acknowledged they too received a letter recently they tossed away. Soon, they and neighbors on the block were eyed as potential suspects, and the dream became a nightmare. The couple tried in vain to discover the letter writer; they eyed their new neighbors warily as those people wondered if the homeowners were themselves behind the stalking campaign. The Broadduses never moved their children into their dream house. They tried to sell, even tried to raze the structure that the letter writer claims he and predecessors have watched for a century, and build two new houses that would have allowed them to recoup. The property was a few feet short of zoning requirements and the town, fueled by the anger of neighbors, wouldn’t grant permission. So they have mostly rented the house while trying to stay afloat. The film deal will certainly help in that regard.

The film is on the fast-track and has already scored directors in the form of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 and CATFISH filmmakers, Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman. Not only that but super-horror producer Eric Newman (DAWN OF THE DEAD 2004, SLITHER, CHILDREN OF MEN, THE LAST EXORCISM, and THE SACRAMENT) and Bryan Unkeless (BRIGHT, THE HUNGER GAMES) will produce through their first look Netflix deal.

We'll let you know when we hear more! Until then...

READ THE WATCHER HERE

 

Source: Deadline

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