An exclusive clip from The Birch may not feature sizable tree monsters, but it does offer a glimpse into the unsettling dynamic of one particularly strange household. The series is a big step forward for Facebook Watch, as the fledgling TV service, from the social media giant, continues to pump out new content. So far, the service has had one legitimate hit — with critics, at least — with the emotional drama Sorry For Your Loss, due in no small part to its strong writing, acting, and the presence of both Elizabeth Olsen and Kelly Marie Tran.
October 2019 brings two new shows to Facebook Watch, and they are quite different as far as content goes. On October 16, Jessica Biel stars in the creepy podcast adaptation Limetown, which takes an X-Files-like look at a mass disappearance and mashes it up with a format similar to that of Serial. But before Biel investigates how an entire town could just vanish, Facebook Watch will serve up a more straightforward horror story, one that includes an actual monster and the horrible price that must be paid for summoning it.
With Halloween right around the corner, it’s the perfect time for Facebook Watch to launch a pair of creepy original series, and it’s also interesting to see just how far removed from one another they are, particularly in terms of content and visual style. Whether that’s a sign that Facebook grants its creators plenty of leeway in terms of storytelling — a sort of Netflix-like hands-off approach — or if the service is throwing content at the wall to see what sticks remains to be seen. Nevertheless, those with an interest in monster horror will likely find something appealing here. Check out the exclusive clip and brief synopsis from The Birch below:
“The lives of three teenagers - Lanie (Midori Francis, Good Boys, Ocean’s Eight), Evie (Xaria Dotson, American Vandal), and Thurston (Dempsey Bryk, Black Mirror, The Silence) - intersect around the presence of a blood-thirsty monster lurking in the woods, the Birch. Sworn to protect the vulnerable wherever she is summoned, the Birch demands a dangerous toll for her services.”
Though Facebook Watch is still proving itself as a legitimate source of streaming content, these two new series will likely go a long way in appealing to audiences who’re already spending plenty of time on the platform. As a way of appealing even more to that particular audience, viewers can experience the horrors of The Birch with a pair of exclusive filters that work on mobile devices on Facebook and Instagram. Whether or not that will be enough to get audiences engaged is still up in the air, but it may just get them talking about creepy tree monsters.
The Birch begins with a three-episode premiere on Friday, October 11 @1pm PT.