6.4/10
4,138
84 user 26 critic

The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

PG | | Family, Horror, Mystery | 1981 (Mexico)
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) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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
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:

1981 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Az erdei k├ípolna titka  »

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

Diane Lane auditioned for the film. See more »

Goofs

When the mother gets scared about what is happening to her daughters and decides to flee, you can see a hose behind the car providing the rain just before they drive onto the bridge. See more »

Quotes

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
72yo Bette Davis in a Disney Family Suspense-Thriller
18 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's an interesting contrast to experience Bette Davis in a Disney family suspense thriller--maybe the scariest Disney flick ever made. If anyone could have been more mysterious & bewitchingly secretive, I can't imagine who. I have the 1998 VHS that has a cover with a marvelous photograph of Davis on the back.

Florence Engel Randall's plot in her novel, "A Watcher in the Woods," goes like this: The Curtis family, Helen (Carroll Baker), her husband Paul (David McCullum), & their 2 daughters, Jan (Lynn-Holly Johnson) & Ellie (Kyle Richards), rent an old English manor from it's owner, Mrs. Aylwood (Bette Davis), who lives in the guest cottage. The lady of the manor seems to be haunting, mean & eerily eccentric.

Jan experiences some paranormal events immediately after moving into the manor. For one thing, she can't see her own reflection in a bedroom mirror. Then, Jan begins to strongly sense that someone is watching her in the woods. Neither Helen nor Paul are keen about the girls spending time with Mrs. Aylwood. But, as Jan becomes more scared & curious about who or what is in the woods, the pre-teen begins investigating, starting with Mrs. Aylwood.

After Jan goes into Mrs. Aylwood's cottage to talk with her about the mysterious phenomena that she's noticed, the secret of the woods starts to be revealed by Mrs. Aylwood. Although she's very reluctant to talk about it, Mrs. Aylwood tells Jan the story about her pre-teen daughter's disappearance in the same woods 30 years ago.

The supernatural cinematic effects are well done. Bette Davis' subdued performance as a mysterious older woman makes the show a spine-tingling thriller. The suspense builds to a climax that is not predictable. The settings are spot-on & befitting for a haunted mood.

Keeping in mind that the genre of this movie is a family suspense suitable for children, I found it to be excellent.


24 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?