Film: The Watcher in the Woods
A 1980 live action Disney film, The Watcher In The Woods
is a supernatural mystery about a family that moves into an old British manor. Shortly after, the two daughters attract the attention of what appears to be some kind of ghostly presence lurking in the woods surrounding their house.
The movie is notable for being a well-done example of a suspenseful thriller while still being accessible to kids (although younger children may find it too scary), and also managing to be quite different from the typical Disney fare of the era. The film makes good use of atmosphere to develop a sense of tension and urgency as the plot unfolds.
The Movie Contains Examples Of:
- Another Dimension: Where the Watcher is from, and where Karen went.
- Arc Symbols: Triangles and circles
- Creepy Child: Ellie, when she's possessed by the Watcher.
- Dark Secret: Karen's disappearance.
- Don't Go in the Woods
- Haunted Heroine: Jan and her younger sister Ellie.
- Haunted House Historian: Mrs. Aylwood.
- Initiation Ceremony: When Karen disappeared, it was while being initiated into a "secret club" by the other children.
- Large Ham: John Keller's the one character who overacts in every scene he appears.
- Mirror Scare: Jan sees a blindfolded girl in a mirror, then again in a pool of water, and finally at a carnival's house of mirrors attraction.
- Missing Trailer Scene: A clip from the original ending, which features Jan's mother asking Karen's childhood friends what they saw when they reenacted the "secret club" initiation with Jan, appears not only in the trailer, but also in the "Walt Disney and You" ad that appeared at the end of numerous Disney videos in the 1980's.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Tom Colley, and also Mrs. Aylwood.
- Nothing Is Scarier: There are a lot of tense moments when nothing really happens, but you know something is there, watching.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Nerak.
- Total Eclipse of the Plot: Plays a key role.
- Trapped in Another World: During the eclipse thirty years ago, Karen and the Watcher switched places when a portal was opened between their dimensions, and they need Jan's help to reverse it.