Norman Spencer, a university research scientist, is growing more and more concerned about his wife, Claire, a retired concert cellist who a year ago was involved in a serious auto accident, and who has just sent off her daughter Caitlin (Norman's stepdaughter) to college. Now, Claire reports hearing voices and witnessing eerie occurrences in and around their lakeside Vermont home, including seeing the face of a young woman reflected in water. An increasingly frightened Claire thinks the phenomena have something to do with the couple living next door, especially since the wife has disappeared without apparent explanation. At her husband's urging, Claire starts to see a therapist; she tells him she thinks the house is being haunted by a ghost. His advice? Try to make contact. Enlisting the help of her best friend, Jody, and a ouija board, Claire seeks to find out the truth of What Lies Beneath. Written by
Eugene Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A good old-fashioned scary movie, avoiding irony and self-referentialism at every turn, this film relies on a nice premise and some well-executed creepy atmosphere for its impact. Pfeiffer and Ford work well together as a middle-aged couple, with Pfeiffer particularly effective as the homey (though obviously ridiculously beautiful) mother left alone when her daughter heads off to college, working herself up into a panic at various, vaguely spooky goings-on around the place. The film plays its cards close to its chest throughout, working the old game of keeping the audience guessing for a good while ? is there really something supernatural going on, is it some kind of creepy but human plot, or is it all in her head? Of course it's all revealed in the end, in a solidly scary, thrilling and well-executed finale. A classic it ain't, but it has a kind of workmanlike, reliable quality oozing out of every scene.
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