The Watcher in the Woods
The Watcher in the Woods (1981)

This chiller represents one of Disney's first attempts at a more serious horror movie as it chronicles the travails of an American family who rents a charming country cottage from a strange old woman. The home is set within some mighty… More

Rated: PG
Running Time:
DVD Release Date: April 2, 2002
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Critic Score: 43% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

The acting and writing are barely professional but the art direction, especially Alan Hume's stunning camerawork, gives the pic a gloss.

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TV Guide

This tepid ghost story fails to focus on either its story or its target audience.

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Staci Layne Wilson


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Time Out

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.

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Widgett Walls

About as scary as a bagel that's been left out on the counter overnight. Okay, maybe it's a raisin bagel. I'll give you that much.

Brian Mckay

Decent but unsophisticated ghost story, best suited for young adults.

Brian Costello
Common Sense Media

Dated Disney horror tale has occult themes, mild scares.

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Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan

Creepy later-Bette Davis tale.

Scott Weinberg

Fans of old-fashioned, atmospheric ghost tales will forgive the film's obvious faults, but even they will have a hard time generating much enthusiasm for the movie.

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More reviews for The Watcher in the Woods

Flixster Audience Score: 57% Flixster User Reviews
Aj V
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… More
Stephen M
It's hard to fathom what Disney were trying to do with this messy horror picture; "The Watcher in the Woods" is more likely to upset rather than… More
Alex roy
The Watcher in the Woods is a surprising film for a Disney film. The film quite chilling, and scary at times. For a ghost story, the film works well enough to… More
Candy Rose
Two young sisters move to a house in woods. Soon there are mysterious sightings of a girl who went missing decades ago.
jay nixon
Mediocre scare flick, rather dark for a Disney film but not really very frightening. Lynn-Holly Johnson is an appallingly bad actress ruining every scene… More
Bruce Bruce
This is a Disney Film, With Betty Davis, Think thats why it was on my rent list. An Ok Film, will not add to my collection unless its found in a pawn shop.… More