WATCHER IN THE WOODS (1980)

 

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Since our friend Tricia had this movie on DVD, we decided we needed to make it a night with “Swamp Water” drinks in skull mugs and sit back to enjoy and old scary Disney movie. You may want to hold off on showing this one to the young kids.  While it isn’t scary for adults, we are pretty sure that it will be for the young kids. There’s a strange disappearance, a seance, possession of a little girl and, of course, something watching from the woods…whew that is a lot.  The fun thing when watching the movie is that you have no idea what will happen. We were just as lost with what happened to Karen and had no idea how it was going to end. What happened that fateful night? How are they going to help Karen? Is Karen’s ghost haunting the woods? If not, then what?? It was great. And another Disney movie with Bette Davis? Yes, please.

And that’s not all…on the DVD there is also two alternate endings you can check out. Now normally, we won’t review alternate scenes or endings, but these were just too good that we have to talk about them.

SPOILER ALERT – Don’t keep reading if you don’t want to know about how the movie ends..3 different ways.

The first alternate ending was the original ending where some winged monster comes out of nowhere and wraps it wings around the leading character and takes her away. Now let me tell you, that monster thing is super creepy and yet at the same time super lame. What the? This has been what was in the woods? That is terrifying and also stupid. And where are they taking Jan? Oh wait, suddenly Jan is back with Karen…that was weird. Whatever. Well, apparently this ending did not do well with audiences. They were left confused as it really didn’t explain much. Additional scenes were then filmed and added to that ending to create the second alternate ending to better explain what had happened to Karen.  We see that the winged creature took Jan to some other dimension where Karen has been trapped. What? Now it is some sci-fi crazy 80’s-Tron-looking special effects weirdness that does not fit at all with the rest of the movie. This ending did even worse with the audience and the critics. So a completely different ending was filmed where the little sister gets possessed by the being from another dimension to tell them how they can get Karen back and send itself back where it belongs.  The winged monster is no more. Thank goodness. The new ending fit much better with the tone of the movie and was much creepier than the others. But one thing that was missing in the final ending that they had in the alternate endings was the panicked mother running from the home to the chapel to find her missing daughter. Since the characters were recreating what happened the night Karen disappeared in order to save her, we liked how the mother running also mirrored what Karen’s mother did that fateful night. So if you have the DVD of this movie, we do recommend watching the alternate endings. They were pretty fun. 

 

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