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The Watcher in the Woods Reviews

This tepid ghost story fails to focus on either its story or its target audience. An American family--mom Carroll Baker, dad David McCallum, and kids Lynn-Holly Johnson and Kyle Richards--rents an English country home from the aging Bette Davis. The place is surrounded by dark, encroaching woods, and from the start it's apparent that this is no ordinary glen teeming with cute little Disney squirrels. Johnson, however, isn't intimidated by the woods, but strange incidents begin occurring when she becomes possessed by the spirit of Davis's long-dead daughter. Though the filmmakers make some effort to create a creepy atmosphere, they fail at one of horror's most basic formats--the haunted house story. Director John Hough had experience in this subgenre with LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, but here he didn't lend the spark this film needed. Comedy director Vincent McEveety (THE MILLION DOLLAR DUCK; HERBIE GOES BANANAS) was brought in to redo the film's still unsatisfying ending.