The Watcher In The Woods

When someone says the words “Walt Disney” you think of fun, family-friendly films and characters, right? So did we, when our parents unknowingly slipped the VHS of The Watcher in the Woods into our VCRs sometime around 1980. Little did we know, our young selves were about to get settled in for a horrifying film involving seances, aliens, and a creepy Bette Davis.

DISNEY, what the hell, bro?

But that’s exactly what happened. They pulled a fast one on us, and we fell for it. Lesson learned: Just because something is produced by Walt Disney doesn’t mean it’s kid-friendly.

The story, based on a novel by Florence Engell Randal, involved an American family moving into a British manor maintained by old Mrs. Aylwood (Davis), whose daughter Karen  had mysteriously disappeared thirty years prior. Jan, the daughter of the American family, bears a striking resemblance to Karen so, of course, Mrs. Aylwood gets all up in her business and constantly spies on her. Long story short (too late!): the kids from thirty years ago got their kicks out of performing seances in abandoned bell towers… and well, wouldn’t you know, one of them actually summoned an alien known as The Watcher to come and take Karen away to another dimension. (Sucks to be you, Karen.)

Luckily, Jan and her sister Ellie (played by Kyle Richards, now of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame) figure out that since it happened during a solar eclipse they just need to recreate the ceremony again during another solar eclipse, and there you go, Karen’s back in the arms of her now 80 year old mother… (Honestly, if it was us, we would have just moved back home to the states. Screw all that “let’s save a moron from an alien who could probably destroy us all” nonsense.) But, clearly, Ellie and Jan are better people and they stay and save the day and everyone is happy.

The movie had some editing issues when it was first released and was actually pulled from theaters and then re-released. We’re just glad it got made at all. How else would we know to avoid performing seances during solar eclipses?

We ♥ The Watcher In the Woods.

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~ by weheart80s on April 9, 2012.

One Response to “The Watcher In The Woods”

  1. I’ve never heard of this, sounds good.

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