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critics consensus

The Watcher in the Woods boasts plenty of spooky atmosphere and a typically strong performance from Bette Davis, but it builds to a conclusion so dissatisfying that it undermines all that came before. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A teenager (Lynn-Holly Johnson) and her younger sister learn their eerie landlady's (Bette Davis) secret at an English country manor.

Cast & Crew

Bette Davis
Mrs. Aylwood
Carroll Baker
Helen Curtis
Kyle Richards
Ellie Curtis
Ian Bannen
John Keller
Frances Cuka
Mary Fleming
Benedict Taylor
Mike Fleming
Georgina Hale
Young Mrs. Aylwood
Katherine Levy
Karen Aylwood
Brian Clemens
Screenwriter
Harry Spalding
Screenwriter
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Critic Reviews for The Watcher in the Woods

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (12)

  • It symbolizes the confusion that has been undermining Disney's live-action productions. Craving more stimulating material on one hand but still wedded to reassuring coziness on the other, the studio shortchanges both tendencies.

    March 26, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Watcher in the Woods is a first-class thriller, far superior to the usual run of frightened-girl, creepy house movies.

    December 4, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The Watcher in the Woods is a haunting, unusual film, steeped in a strange magic that's only enhanced by the dense thicket of rumour and myth that surrounds it.

    July 30, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The acting and writing are barely professional but the art direction, especially Alan Hume's stunning camerawork, gives the pic a gloss.

    October 17, 2007 | Full Review…
  • When it became obvious that the film's mix of cutesy sentiment and vague scariness wasn't working, the company ordered whole sequences to be rewritten, re-shot or re-edited, then imposed a stupid ending that explains precisely nothing.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
  • I challenge even the most indulgent fan to give a coherent translation of what passes for an explanation at the end.

    January 15, 2005

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