The Watcher in the Woods
No sooner does an all-American family takes possession of a baronial English manor when all manner of peculiar things occurring, including signs that point to the disappearance of a young girl during a solar eclipse decades before. Bette Davis headlines and Lynn-Holly Johnson co-stars in this suspenseful take on haunted houses.
Incredibly boring Disney horror movie of sorts from the 1980s, starts off interestingly enough, then drags like hell. An 80 minute film has never felt so long... Oh and also, I don't get it.
First off; a masterpiece of suspense this ain't, whatever the poster tries to tell you. What it is though is a nice little spooky tale with some nice jump-scares and a slightly different story.
Some of the characters do come off as very annoying at times and the acting could be better. Those are, however, just small pickings in an otherwise very entertaining and fun little film.
A Disney foray into the "spooky forest" genre, originally intended to be actually, you know, scary, but then (pretty drastically) reworked and then (post-release!) changed again. It doesn't seem particularly gutted, and the changes the filmmakers made to the story probably helped it in the long run, given the sheer amount of special effects they would've needed to realize their vision and also, of course, the year being 1980 and special effects being what they were in 1980. Bette Davis is gloriously disheveled but Lynn-Holly Johnson's perfect teenage hair steals the show. This is one of those movies you see half of when you're eight and then you think about it for the rest of your life (and maybe even purchase a DVD copy of it, if you see one at Target for a reasonable price); Lynn-Holly Johnson's perfect teenage hair is the reason why.
Whoever thought a Disney movie could be so scary? I haven't seen this movie since I was 16, so maybe it doesn't hold up, but this movie was very frightening for me growing up.
It has a lot of moments that make you jump, and one scene that might be the cause of a deep rooted fear of old people.
Gets a little weird at the end and stops being scary, much the end of almost EVERY OTHER SCARY MOVIE OUT THERE. The good ones leave you scared.