This Scared The Crap Out Of Me As A Little Kid


While browsing through the racks of used DVDs at Amoeba Music in Hollywood earlier today (in the horror section, natch), I came across a movie I haven't seen -- or thought about, really -- since the mid-80s.

The Watcher in the Woods is a 1980 Disney flick (Disney!) about the spirit of a dead girl haunting a young teen at her family's British countryside home. Starring Bette Davis in one of her final roles, the melodramatic movie also features Carroll Baker, the gun-toting grandmother from Kindergarten Cop (all together now: "You're not so tough without your car, are ya?").

To think that the studio that gave us the Happiest Place On Earth also produced a straight-up supernatural thriller without any comic relief or blatant product placement is mind-boggling today (granted, it was rated PG). If I were to make an analogy? It's like if Disney had released Insidious two years ago.

I must have been 4- or 5-years-old when I saw this movie for the first time. The eerie imagery (a blindfolded little girl, occult rituals, and Bette Davis) left an impression on me. I doubt the movie holds up well 33 years later in a world inundated with fare like Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring bringing on the scares.

But still, I plan to revisit and rewatch.


@TheFirstEcho

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