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The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

aka The Watcher in the Woods

Details: 83 mins · English · PG (USA)


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Small Mrs. Aylwood
Small Jan Curtis
No_movie_poster Ellie Curtis
Small Helen Curtis
Small Paul Curtis
Small Mike Fleming
No_movie_poster Mary Fleming
No_movie_poster Tom Colley
Small John Keller
No_movie_poster Karen Aylwood
Small Mrs. Thayer
No_movie_poster Young Mrs. Aylwood
No_movie_poster Young John Keller


No_movie_poster John Hough Director
No_movie_poster Brian Clemens Screenplay
No_movie_poster Vincent McEveety Director
No_movie_poster Harry Spalding Writer
No_movie_poster Gerry Day Writer


An Anglo-American family, Helen and Paul Curtis (Carroll Baker and David McCallum) and their daughters Jan (Lynn-Holly Johnson) and Ellie (Kyle Richards), move into a manor. Mrs. Aylwood (Bette Davis), the owner of the residence, notices that Jan bears a striking resemblance to her daughter, Karen, who disappeared inside a chapel near the village 30 years previously.

Jan begins to see strange blue lights in the woods, triangles and glowing objects. Eventually, Ellie goes to buy a puppy she names "Nerak" (an anagram for Karen). After seeing the reflection of the name "Nerak" (Karen spelled backwards), Jan finds out about the mystery of Mrs. Aylwood's missing daughter.

Several strange occurrences appear, beginning with Mrs. Aylwood saving Jan after she falls into a pond looking at a blue circle, and ending with Jan finding a man named John, who explains that Karen did disappear but has not died. He tells her that in a seance-like ceremony, Karen disappeared after lightning struck the tower and a bell fell on top of her. They find out that the disappearance of Karen is linked to a solar eclipse. Jan figures out she needs to repeat the sequence through the strange possession of Ellie.

In the chapel, something possesses Ellie and explains the accidental switch that took place 30 years ago. Ellie explains that Karen was taken to another dimension, while an alien-like being, the Watcher, came to earth. The Watcher then appears independently as a pillar of light, fueled by the "circle of friendship". It engulfs Jan and lifts her into the air, but Jan's friend Mike Fleming (Benedict Taylor) intercedes and pulls her away before the Watcher disappears. At the same time, the eclipse ends and Karen, still the same age as when she disappeared, reappears – still blindfolded. She removes the blindfold as her mother enters the chapel.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2002-04-02

DVD : 2004-08-03