MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,753 this week

The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 3,134 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 27 critic

When a family moves to a country home, the young girls experience strange happenings that have a link to an occult event years past.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 09 Jun 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 29 Aug 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 08 Nov 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

The Watcher in the Woods (1980) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Watcher in the Woods.
3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Shining (1980)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child's drowning.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man staying at a secluded historical mansion, finds his life being haunted by the presence of a spectre.

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas
Scream 2 (1997)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two years after the events of the first film, a new psychopath dons the "Ghost face" costume and a new string of murders begin.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
Psycho II (1983)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After twenty-two years of psychiatric care, Norman Bates attempts to return to a life of solitude... but the specters of his crimes -- and his mother -- continue to haunt him.

Director: Richard Franklin
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly
Urban Legend (1998)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A college student suspects a series of bizarre deaths are connected to certain urban legends.

Director: Jamie Blanks
Stars: Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart
Prom Night (1980)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A masked killer stalks four teens, responsible for the accidental death of a child six years earlier, at their high school's senior prom.

Director: Paul Lynch
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens
The Ring (2002)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A group of nine college students staying at a friend's remote island mansion begin to fall victim to an unseen murderer over the April Fool's day weekend.

Director: Fred Walton
Stars: Deborah Foreman, Griffin O'Neal, Clayton Rohner
Child's Play (1988)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A single mother gives her son a beloved doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed with the soul of a serial killer.

Director: Tom Holland
Stars: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After being hypnotized by his sister in law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around her.

Director: David Koepp
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Zachary David Cope, Kathryn Erbe
Phenomena (1985)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Jan Curtis
...
Ellie Curtis
...
Helen Curtis
...
Paul Curtis
...
Mike Fleming
Frances Cuka ...
Mary Fleming
Richard Pasco ...
Tom Colley
...
John Keller
Katharine Levy ...
Karen Aylwood (uncredited in the shortened 1981 release)
Eleanor Summerfield ...
Mrs. Thayer
Georgina Hale ...
Edit

Storyline

When a normal American family moves into a beautiful old English house in a wooded area, strange, paranormal appearances befall them in this interesting twist to the well-known haunted-house tale. Their daughter Jan sees, and daughter Ellie hears, the voice of a young teenage girl who mysteriously disappeared during a total solar eclipse decades before... Written by Michael Ducharme <ducharme@escape.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Something Is Watching. Something Unknown. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

11 September 1982 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Watcher in the Woods  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Anchor Bay DVD commentary, John Hough states that Bette Davis wanted to play both Mrs. Aylwood in the present and thirty years ago. The crew shot scenes with her wearing makeup to appear younger, but she was clearly older than the character the script called for. After the cast and crew saw the dailies, Hough told Davis in private that the scene just didn't work; no one would believe her as a woman in her forties. To her credit, Davis looked Hough in the eye and said, "You're Goddamned right." See more »

Goofs

When seen in the mirror maze Karen is wearing white tights. When she returns to the chapel they are gone. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Aylwood: [to unseen presence in the woods] She's going to stay here. Is that what you wanted?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Winnie the Pooh (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Not a masterpiece, but a sadly overlooked horror gem from Disney
13 June 2000 | by (Brighton, East Sussex, England) – See all my reviews

Along with Orca the Killer Whale and Jaws, this was among one of the first films I ever saw on video - back in about 1983, when I was three years old!

I remember watching this film practically every evening and going crazy when my elder brother taped over it! I didn't see it again until I was 14 and although it didn't have the same impact, I still think it is a highly imaginative chiller.

It is a shame that this film seemed doomed from the moment the cameras started rolling. To add to all the distribution problems, Bette Davis was reportedly bored rigid on set and thought Lynn-Holly Johnson was a lousy actress, often commenting on how much she'd wanted Diane Lane to star as Jan Curtis instead.

The atmosphere of the film is undeniably creepy, largely thanks to the music featured in it - both the score and the tune from Mrs Aylwood's music box are first rate. Alan Hulme's brilliant cinematography is a wonder to behold. Had The Watcher in the Woods been a box-office hit, I'm sure Hulme would have been nominated for an Oscar.

Johnson is not "lousy" (as Davis reportedly said), she is adequate in the leading role. Much better is adorable Kyle Richards (who had previously appeared in the horror film Halloween and as Alicia Sanderson Edwards in TV's Little House on the Prairie) who plays Johnson's younger sister. However, it is a shame that Davis, Carroll Baker and David McCallum are all sadly underused - the last named has hardly any screen time at all.

Definitely one to see, IF you DO manage to catch it, which is unlikely

  • the film was never available to buy on videotape in England and has
only been on TV about twice in 20 years!

NOTE: The film did get a fabulous special edition DVD release in 2001, with all three endings so fans of the movie could FINALLY see the deleted scenes with the alien watcher of the title!


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Scary! DankeSchoen
Needs Remade horsedude2010
Lynn Holly Johnson was terrible! MovieGal237
Disney's Darkest Film? horsedude2010
alternate ending holyredcrayon
If re done who would you cast? gshaunm
Discuss The Watcher in the Woods (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?