The Watcher in the Woods

1980 PG 1h 23m DVD

The Watcher in the Woods

1980 PG 1h 23m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
No sooner does an all-American family take possession of a baronial English manor when all manner of peculiar things occur, including signs that point to the disappearance of a young girl during a solar eclipse decades before. Bette Davis stars as the woman who spends all her days searching the dense woods for her missing daughter. Lynn-Holly Johnson co-stars in Disney's suspenseful take on haunted houses.
Bette Davis, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Kyle Richards, Carroll Baker, David McCallum, Benedict Taylor, Frances Cuka, Richard Pasco, Ian Bannen, Katherine Levy, Eleanor Summerfield, Georgina Hale
John Hough
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
English: DTS 6.1 Surround Sound, English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Watcher in the Wood is a 1980 Disney movie about an American family that moves to an old home in the English countryside where bizarre paranormal events start to occur. Though there is mild suspense and overly familiar horror movie tropes throughout -- glass and mirrors break for seemingly no reason, and there are abrupt cuts from a potentially scary scene to a close-up of a demon in a haunted house in an amusement park, for instance -- there also are scenes in which it appears an elderly woman is drowning a young girl and one in which a girl is thrown off an out-of-control horse that also causes a truck accident. The occult themes could be problematic for faith-centered families, as could a scene in which a church is on fire.

Sexual Content

Not applicable


A girl is thrown off a horse and, though uninjured, also causes a truck to veer out of control into an accident. A motorcycle explodes after the driver loses control, and it flies into the air, nearly killing one of the lead characters. A girl nearly drowns; a suspicious elderly woman appears to be holding her down in the water but actually rescues her. Mild horror suspense throughout: Mirrors and glasses break; abrupt cuts from a suspenseful scene to a close-up of a demon in a haunted house; a black cat jumps on a character.


Not applicable

Social Behavior

As a "haunted house" tale with plot twists involving occult rituals undertaken by kids, there isn't much in the way of positive messages.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Champagne drinking. A man is accused of being drunk.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

How it works

  • 1

    Create your list

    Browse from thousands of movies and shows.

  • 2

    Free delivery

    We send out your disc the next business day.

  • 3

    Watch and repeat

    Free returns, plus no due dates or late fees.

Unlimited movies sent to your door, starting at $9.99 a month.