6.4/10
4,354
86 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 »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Mike Fleming
Frances Cuka ...
Mary Fleming
Richard Pasco ...
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Katharine Levy ...
Eleanor Summerfield ...
Mrs. Thayer
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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:

The Most Legendary Monster Of All Can Now Be Seen For The First Time See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1981 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

A Watcher in the Woods  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many filming locations seen in this movie had previously been utilized in Robert Wise's earlier horror movie The Haunting (1963) which was based on a novel by Shirley Jackson. See more »

Goofs

After Mrs. Alywood saves Jan from drowning in the pond they are in Mrs. Alywood's cottage talking. Jan's bangs change from being spread out across her forehead to being all together. See more »

Quotes

Ellie Curtis: She had to. She had to push you down to get you loose from the branch. She saved your life.
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Connections

Remade as The Watcher in the Woods (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Incredible film that holds up well to age
21 September 2004 | by (Knoxville, TN) – See all my reviews

When I was younger I saw this film for the first time and it made an impact, although with age of course the memories faded. However, when I spotted the recent release DVD of this title I had to get it. I felt compelled, and so I snatched it up. When I sat down to watch it, I was instantly drawn into a world of eerie mystery that's surprisingly well-done, especially for a film that bears the name of Disney, notorious for their sanitized, 'family-friendly' fare. This certainly wasn't anything like most of their films, and it was a welcome change. I found myself putting together the mystery a bit faster than the characters, although I was indeed thrown a curve by the ending, which was still quite impacting. The thing about it is, even the alternate endings included on the DVD are still just as impacting, each in its own way. Each one makes quite an impression, and each one resolves the story without tying up each loose end in an impossibly pat way. The 'default' ending is abrupt but poignant, whereas the others are more drawn-out and overtly horrific. But the buildup makes it so, and the buildup is absolutely faultless, especially with the inclusion of the understated and brilliant Bette Davis.

I was absolutely floored by it. Watcher in the Woods is every bit as brilliant a horror film as any other much-discussed title, if not better. It's reminiscent of Lovecraft in many ways and yet gives a distinct impression of a dark, dark fairy tale. The acting is very good, the cast excellent, and the settings simple and isolated yet stunning and evocative. Every fan of film, horror fans in particular, must see The Watcher in the Woods. The DVD release is something that collectors too will enjoy, with the trailers and alternate endings cleaned and clarified for their magnificent DVD presentation. This is a film that should, and will, live in history as one of the hidden gems of film.


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