6.4/10
4,847
86 user 32 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 »
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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 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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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA

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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director John Hough was hired to direct this picture after Disney Studios executive and the film's head producer Ron Miller had seen Hough's horror movie The Legend of Hell House (1973). See more »

Goofs

The car that falls into the ravine is clearly a model as it has no axles or drivetrain. See more »

Quotes

Jan Curtis: Mr. Keller I had to see you, it's about Karen Aylwood.
John Keller: What about Karen Aylwood?
Jan Curtis: She needs help.
John Keller: How would you know that?
Jan Curtis: I've seen her.
John Keller: Where?
Jan Curtis: In mirrors!
John Keller: Oh, mirrors. You say you see yourself as Karen?
Jan Curtis: No! It was her image. Why was she blindfolded at the chapel? I've got to find out what happened that night, it's important to me.
John Keller: Why dear? It's none of your business!
[...]
See more »

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

Version of The Watcher in the Woods (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Absolutely Petifying
12 April 2006 | by russtem_1See all my reviews

I watched this film when I was about 7 I think and I am not joking when I say it had a profound effect upon me and many of my friends. I was terrified of the dark for years and even scared to look in the mirror in case there was someone else staring back. Quite how this film was shown at 6pm on a Tuesday has always baffled me. It was a shocking decision by the BBC and they would never get away with it now. I met a guy at university who had also been traumatised by this film and I think we bonded over it because we are still very good friends! My memories of it are quite hazy but I'm sure I started crying half way through and didn't stop until the end; would have turned it off but my 10 year old sister wanted to watch it or rather wanted to watch me cry and I was too scared to leave the room. I'm giving it a 9 for fright value. It was a good film and a good idea.


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