The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

PG   |    |  Family, Horror, Mystery

The Watcher in the Woods (1980) Poster

When a family moves to a country home, the young girls experience strange happenings that have a link to an occult event years past.




  • Kyle Richards in The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
  • The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
  • Lynn-Holly Johnson in The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
  • Lynn-Holly Johnson in The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
  • Katharine Levy in The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
  • Carroll Baker in The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

12 April 2006 | russtem_1
| Absolutely Petifying
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.

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


Starring as Mrs. Aylwood in this Disney Studios film was veteran actress Bette Davis, who had just recently co-starred in another cinema movie directed by John Hough for Walt Disney Productions, as Letha in Return from Witch Mountain (1978).


Ellie Curtis: Boy, Mrs. Aylwood sure is creepy.
Paul Curtis: How comforting to know we're the "right sort of people."
Ellie Curtis: I've seen the iciest of old ladies melted by your charm.
Mrs. Thayer: I think it was your daughter who did the trick.
Ellie Curtis: Me?
Mrs. Thayer: No, dear, not you.
Mrs. Thayer: She had a daughter about your age.
Jan Curtis: ...


When seen in the mirror maze Karen is wearing white tights. When she returns to the chapel they are gone.

Alternate Versions

The alternate ending begins with Jan calling Mike and telling him to gather his mother and Tom Colley to reunite with John Keller and have the ceremony to get Karen back. Then when she meets up with Mrs. Aylewood, and more dialogue than in the theatrical version is featured-depicting witchcraft and more talk about the demonic possessions Ellie experienced. Then, when she goes to John Keller, to get him to the church, there is more dialogue between the two of the belief that Karen died. Then, the same ending that the first one was is present, but instead of cuts of Ellie running in the woods, it is in fact Jan and Ellie's mother running in the woods-and the same manor that the young Mrs. Aylewood ran the night Karen disappeared. Then the demon comes and takes Jan away-like the original, only this time it shoes the dimension which the demon lives, and what Karen is trapped in time-which looks like a diamond rough. Jan goes into the time gap and embraces Karen then the two disappear to earth's dimension, and the rest picks up where the original ending left off. There is more footage taken out, and more footage thrown into this ending (a scene where John Keller is apologizing for Jan's disappearance to her mother).


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Family | Horror | Mystery | Thriller

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