The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
The Watcher in the Woods is a 1980 supernatural horror film directed by John Hough and Vincent McEveety and starring Bette Davis, Carroll Baker, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Kyle Richards, and David McCallum. Based on the 1976 novel by Florence Engel Randall, the film tells the story of a teenage girl and her little sister who become encompassed in a supernatural mystery regarding a missing girl in the woods surrounding their new home in the English countryside.
Filmed at Pinewood Studios and the surrounding areas in Buckinghamshire, England, The Watcher in the Woods was one of several live-action films produced by Walt Disney Productions in the 1980s, when the studio was targeting young adult audiences. The film had its premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on April 17, 1980, but was pulled from release after ten days, and future screenings were canceled by the studio because of an overwhelming negative response from critics and audiences. Several changes were made thereafter, including the excision of a pre-credits sequence, as well the filming of an entirely new ending, which was directed by Vincent McEveety without Hough’s involvement. Disney re-released the revised cut of the film on October 9, 1981, and it grossed $5 million.
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