6.3/10
5,668
100 user 41 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
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

Diane Lane was announced to pay Jan Curtis, the role which went instead to Lynn-Holly Johnson. Lane instead appeared that year in Touched by Love (1980), playing a character called "Karen", a name also featuring prominently in this film. 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

Jan Curtis: Something awful happened here. I can feel it. Something awful.
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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 »

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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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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