The Watcher in the Woods - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Watcher in the Woods Reviews

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½ June 16, 2017
I think this is a pretty overlooked, underrated film. What is with the mixed-to-negative response? Is it because its a horror film made by Disney? Well, heres what I think of the movie. This film does the things a great horror film does. It has a lot of atmosphere, great camera shots, and scary build up. If you look at the point-of-view shots, they do something different and makes you question what this "watcher in the woods" is capable of doing. Its not perfect or anything, some of the actors, particularly the main actress don't really give good performances here and the movie also quickly ends after the climax. Overall, I'm quite impressed that they were able to make a legit horror movie while also making it family friendly at the same time and there a lot of good things in it. I think more people need to see "The Watcher in the Woods". Check it out if you haven't already. If you ever think this movie is too dark and scary for a Disney film, then rewatch your favorite classics from this company.
May 31, 2017
This is terrible but so cute at the same time, with this corny but sweet goosebump feel reserved for children pictures. With Bette Davis playing her very best hammy over-the-top, and the young lead actress being delightfully dumb and bad, it could have been a mess but somehow it gels perfectly fine as a mystery sci-fi fantasy for kids ripe with b-movie grandness.
December 27, 2016
despite bette Davis best efforts she can't lift this spooky tale above mediocre
February 3, 2016
It is quite nice to see Bette every now and again, upstaging all others around her.
January 30, 2016
Awesome Cool Chiling
September 8, 2015
Casting is poor and the uneven plot is subtle when it needs a shout and is excessive when less is required. It seems the director couldn't quite decide if this should be a science fiction movie or one about the occult and the alternate endings, if you have the misfortune of watching them, removes any doubt about the directors inability to know what to do with this mess. Poor Betty Davis-I can only imagine what was going through her mind-Something like, "Why didn't I read this script before I took this job?!!!!"
April 25, 2015
An American family moves to the English countryside only to learn the manor where they now reside is being haunted by the owner's long-dead daughter (it wasn't made clear if the dead daughter had inherited her mother's eyes). A series of spooky events occur including several Final Destination-style near-misses. PG-scares don't add much to a well-filmed, yet poorly acted Disney horror film.
April 10, 2015
A kiddie scary movie that runs a tad too long.
½ February 2, 2015
This is an interesting Disney Horror film. It is perhaps no surprise that this experienced production problems. Due to the dark tone the ending was filmed several times. It isn't completely unfair to draw comparisons with films such as The Shining and The Evil Dead, both of which were released around the same time as this. Perhaps this was a case of poor judgement. It is neither a full-on horror film, nor is it a childrens film. It is an interesting one though and despite a slightly goofy final act it is compelling overall.
November 9, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
November 1, 2014
I remember an excellent, creepy '80s feel.
November 1, 2014
Superb story telling. Powerful, magical & a real one of a kind classic!
August 23, 2014
I want to see it because i was told this was preety scary so I would like to see if that's true.
January 6, 2014
A bizarre and chilling feature that was one of the very first Disney movies to receive a PG rating. With so much left unexplained I found it to be confusing, although the mysterious and dark nature of the film is what makes it worth watching. (First viewing - In my early mid-twenties)
½ November 20, 2013
Saw this when I was like 5. Haven't seen it since, but some of the scenes stuck with me. Couldn't remember what it was called until the other day & rewatched it. Not terrible, but if it weren't for the nostalgia, I don't think I'd call it good.
October 26, 2013
this film isn't very scary nor frightening as 'Something Wicked This Way Comes'
it's just a lot of explaining and explaining
at times they'll cut to a creepy scene involving the ghost and the possession taking place but that's all
no horror here just tedium
Super Reviewer
September 20, 2013
I think it's fair to say that Disney was just trying to jump on the horror bandwagon with this movie. That totally brings down the integrity of this. At least it is based on a novel. Although the story is somewhat chilling, only kids will be scared, and not by much. It might be better to read this instead because the story is good. I just wish this movie was better.
June 6, 2013
This sad attempt by Disney to make a horror movie didn't go over so well. The plot was predictable, the acting was bad, the execution was cheesy, and it wasn't scary. It was hardly even suspenseful.

PLOT:Jan Curtis (Lynn-Holly Johnson) and her family have been house-hunting for quite a while now but have finally found a secluded, English mansion in the woods. The mansion was previously owned by a creepy old lady named Mrs. Aylwood (Bette Davis) who's daughter disappeared near the property. Things are going fairly well for the family until creepy things start happening to Jan and her little sister. Jan catches wind of the story of Mrs. Aylwood's daughter eventually, and then starts to investigate her disappearance as it has a strange effect on her and her family. Little does she know that there's a dark history behind a few of this area's residents. It's a decent plot executed horribly.

ACTING:The acting in this movie is pretty bad. The only decent performance was Bette Midler as Mrs. Aylwood, and that was just decent. The rest of the acting was purely bad. The worst performances would have to have been by Carroll Baker as Helen Curtis and Lynn-Holly Johnson as Jan Curtis. There were a couple of okay performances by the likes of Ian Bannen and Eleanor Summerfield as Mrs. Thayer. They weren't too bad.

SCORE:The score was decent. The themes were pretty unique and creepy. They kind of reminded me of an early Argento-type score.

EFFECTS:The effects were pretty cheesy and cheaply used. The effects probably would've been better if used wiser. However, their use was lame and cheesy.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was just a failed attempt for Disney at trying to make a horror movie. Firstly, the plot was shallowly predictable. I saw almost everything coming. Secondly, most of the twists in the movie were just as cheesy as they were predictable. I found myself either bored or laughing at the things that happened, up until the end where it just seemed tired and overbearing. Thirdly, the movie was neither scary nor very suspenseful. Nothing but maybe a miniature jump scare in the middle scared me. I found myself waiting for something to happen when nothing ever did. As for suspense, there was a good bit, but it didn't lead up to anything interesting so it was just wasted time. I found myself wondering why I even wasted my time on this. It had the spirit of an old, cheesy horror flick, but it didn't add any style to make up for it.

OVERALL,a sucky horror movie with a horribly-executed plot, bad acting, decent score, cheesy and misused effects, shallow predictability, cheesy plot twists, no scares and wasted suspense, but there was one good performance, and the score seemed to be the only thing with potential.
June 6, 2013
This sad attempt by Disney to make a horror movie didn't go over so well. The plot was predictable, the acting was bad, the execution was cheesy, and it wasn't scary. It was hardly even suspenseful.

PLOT:Jan Curtis (Lynn-Holly Johnson) and her family have been house-hunting for quite a while now but have finally found a secluded, English mansion in the woods. The mansion was previously owned by a creepy old lady named Mrs. Aylwood (Bette Davis) who's daughter disappeared near the property. Things are going fairly well for the family until creepy things start happening to Jan and her little sister. Jan catches wind of the story of Mrs. Aylwood's daughter eventually, and then starts to investigate her disappearance as it has a strange effect on her and her family. Little does she know that there's a dark history behind a few of this area's residents. It's a decent plot executed horribly.

ACTING:The acting in this movie is pretty bad. The only decent performance was Bette Midler as Mrs. Aylwood, and that was just decent. The rest of the acting was purely bad. The worst performances would have to have been by Carroll Baker as Helen Curtis and Lynn-Holly Johnson as Jan Curtis. There were a couple of okay performances by the likes of Ian Bannen and Eleanor Summerfield as Mrs. Thayer. They weren't too bad.

SCORE:The score was decent. The themes were pretty unique and creepy. They kind of reminded me of an early Argento-type score.

EFFECTS:The effects were pretty cheesy and cheaply used. The effects probably would've been better if used wiser. However, their use was lame and cheesy.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was just a failed attempt for Disney at trying to make a horror movie. Firstly, the plot was shallowly predictable. I saw almost everything coming. Secondly, most of the twists in the movie were just as cheesy as they were predictable. I found myself either bored or laughing at the things that happened, up until the end where it just seemed tired and overbearing. Thirdly, the movie was neither scary nor very suspenseful. Nothing but maybe a miniature jump scare in the middle scared me. I found myself waiting for something to happen when nothing ever did. As for suspense, there was a good bit, but it didn't lead up to anything interesting so it was just wasted time. I found myself wondering why I even wasted my time on this. It had the spirit of an old, cheesy horror flick, but it didn't add any style to make up for it.

OVERALL,a sucky horror movie with a horribly-executed plot, bad acting, decent score, cheesy and misused effects, shallow predictability, cheesy plot twists, no scares and wasted suspense, but there was one good performance, and the score seemed to be the only thing with potential.
May 25, 2013
Shockingly dark for a Disney flick! Disney has always used a lot of mysticism and they hit the nail on the head with "The Watcher In the Woods." I was impressed that a Disney movie could effectively creep me out and I question whether young kids could handle this (though I believe that the movie was intended for families). The first person cinematography representative of "The Watcher" was very well done, particularly the long uncut scene as The Watcher follows Jan through the woods. You really won't be able to predict which direction this movie will take next. Though the acting isn't the best and the movie is pretty dated, it's still an enjoyable story that will hold your attention for the entire 80 minute film!
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