“The Watcher in the Woods” marks Melissa Joan Hart’s directing effort to tweak a much beloved cult classic. What we get is a movie that aired on Lifetime that plays rather friendlier than one expects. I do appreciate Lifetime going broader in their original content. However, I expected something more based on the 1980 movie and the source novel. How many classic tales have to be turned into girl power against X element?

If it didn’t work for boys, then why shove girls into the mix? All it serves is to keep driving home the point that everyone gets a hand at smashing their heads into the rocks of mediocre storytelling. The film is carried on Huston’s back, as she is able to mine more out of the Watcher/witch than Bette Davis did in the original film. Her accent slips a few times, but it’s the least of the movie’s problems. Watch it with a kid and check out their response. All the while, bury your memories of the past film.


  • Nothing


  • 1.78:1 standard definition transfer
  • Dolby Digital 5.1


  • 90%
    Video - 90%
  • 90%
    Audio - 90%
  • 80%
    Content Score - 80%

The Plot Thus Far

When Jan Carstairs and her family rent a manor in the idyllic British countryside, the owner, Mrs. Aylwood, notices that Jan bears a striking resemblance to her daughter, Karen, who disappeared over twenty years ago. Mrs. Aylwood warns Jan to stay out of the surrounding woods, and when strange occurrences unnerve the family, Jan suspects they are linked to what happened to Karen. As Jan begins to unravel the truth, she and her little sister, Ellie, may not be able to escape The Watcher in the Woods.

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