6.3/10
5,454
96 user 38 critic

The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

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:

John Hough, Vincent McEveety (uncredited)

Writers:

Brian Clemens (screenplay), Florence Engel Randall (novel) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,282 ( 793)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Bette Davis ... Mrs. Aylwood
Lynn-Holly Johnson ... Jan Curtis
Kyle Richards ... Ellie Curtis
Carroll Baker ... Helen Curtis
David McCallum ... Paul Curtis
Benedict Taylor ... Mike Fleming
Frances Cuka ... Mary Fleming
Richard Pasco ... Tom Colley
Ian Bannen ... John Keller
Katharine Levy Katharine Levy ... Karen Aylwood
Eleanor Summerfield Eleanor Summerfield ... Mrs. Thayer
Georgina Hale ... Young Mrs. Aylwood
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Scared of going into the woods? You should be ... See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2002, director John Hough said of this film: "You couldn't play a scene with Bette Davis and not really think and not be on your toes, as you just wouldn't have any impact on the scene at all." 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

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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Alternate Versions

Two endings were shot for the film: the original ending depicted the three adults in the circle. Instead of Ellie coming in, possessed by the spirit, a black demonic creature comes up the aisle and envelopes Jan. They ascend and disappear into thin air. Jan's mother then comes in and wonders where Jan is. When she can't get a word out of them, she starts to worry to the extent. Then, out of nowhere, Jan re-appears with Karen, still the same age as she was when the incident in the film first took place, and she takes Karen to see her now aged mother. They run in the lawn and embrace each other, with Jan in the background, crying with Joy, then Ellie asks where the Watcher went to. Jan replies "Home, where ever that is." Thus the credits come. See more »

Connections

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

User Reviews

an excellent movie
11 May 1999 | by Peter-124See all my reviews

I have seen The Watcher in the Woods a couple times now, and I think it's a great movie. I can see where it may scare smaller children, but it shouldn't be avoided if you're older. I know many people think that Disney doesn't make good movies, but they have some excellent films. I love all their movies, but this one stands out. Disney does pretty good for PG rated sci-fi/horror fliks. Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Black Hole, and The Black Cauldron are also excellent films in this genre. All in all, The Watcher in the Woods is a great movie that, I think, everyone should see.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Watcher in the Woods See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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