Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Watcher in the Woods (1981) review


This sad attempt by Disney to make a horror movie didn't go over so well. The plot was predictable, the acting was bad, the execution was cheesy, and it wasn't scary. It was hardly even suspenseful.

PLOT:Jan Curtis (Lynn-Holly Johnson) and her family have been house-hunting for quite a while now but have finally found a secluded, English mansion in the woods. The mansion was previously owned by a creepy old lady named Mrs. Aylwood (Bette Davis) who's daughter disappeared near the property. Things are going fairly well for the family until creepy things start happening to Jan and her little sister. Jan catches wind of the story of Mrs. Aylwood's daughter eventually, and then starts to investigate her disappearance as it has a strange effect on her and her family. Little does she know that there's a dark history behind a few of this area's residents. It's a decent plot executed horribly.

ACTING:The acting in this movie is pretty bad. The only decent performance was Bette Midler as Mrs. Aylwood, and that was just decent. The rest of the acting was purely bad. The worst performances would have to have been by Carroll Baker as Helen Curtis and Lynn-Holly Johnson as Jan Curtis. There were a couple of okay performances by the likes of Ian Bannen and Eleanor Summerfield as Mrs. Thayer. They weren't too bad.

SCORE:The score was decent. The themes were pretty unique and creepy. They kind of reminded me of an early Argento-type score.

EFFECTS:The effects were pretty cheesy and cheaply used. The effects probably would've been better if used wiser. However, their use was lame and cheesy.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was just a failed attempt for Disney at trying to make a horror movie. Firstly, the plot was shallowly predictable. I saw almost everything coming. Secondly, most of the twists in the movie were just as cheesy as they were predictable. I found myself either bored or laughing at the things that happened, up until the end where it just seemed tired and overbearing. Thirdly, the movie was neither scary nor very suspenseful. Nothing but maybe a miniature jump scare in the middle scared me. I found myself waiting for something to happen when nothing ever did. As for suspense, there was a good bit, but it didn't lead up to anything interesting so it was just wasted time. I found myself wondering why I even wasted my time on this. It had the spirit of an old, cheesy horror flick, but it didn't add any style to make up for it.

OVERALL,a sucky horror movie with a horribly-executed plot, bad acting, decent score, cheesy and misused effects, shallow predictability, cheesy plot twists, no scares and wasted suspense, but there was one good performance, and the score seemed to be the only thing with potential.

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