Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA/United Kingdom, 1980. Walt Disney Productions. Screenplay by Brian Clemens, Rosemary Anne Sisson, Harry Spalding, based on the novel A Watcher In The Woods by Florence Engel Randall. Cinematography by Alan Hume. Produced by Ron Miller. Music by Stanley Myers. Production Design by Elliot Scott. Costume Design by Emma Porteous. Film Editing by Geoffrey Foot.
This one’s a fun spooker for the kids, while adults will find it corny and anticlimactic. Bette Davis has a glorified cameo (though she’s top-billed) as an elderly woman who rents out her countryside estate to a family of four. After moving in, one daughter starts to see mysterious things happening on their property, while her sister starts to hear things that freak her out. Eventually, they come to suspect that a crime committed years before, relating to occult practices, has come back to haunt the house they live in. The ending is a letdown, but for the most part it’s a fun ride, and youngsters will get a kick out of not being able to sleep for weeks afterwards.