If they missed Beatles' first appearance in the U.S.A. they would hate themselves for the rest of their lives! So they (six young girls from New Jersey) set off even though they don't have ... See full summary »
A group of auditioned stage actors rehearse for an upcoming musical production. While locking themselves in the theater for rehearsal, not knowing that an escaped psychopath sneaked into the theater with them.
Five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property they have bought, but are warned by the forest ranger Roy McLean that a huge machete-wielding maniac has been terrorising the ... See full summary »
Eight unsuspecting high school seniors at a posh boarding school, who delight themselves on playing games of lies, come face-to-face with terror and learn that nobody believes a liar - even when they're telling the truth.
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>
The house depicted in the film was used for day scenes only. It was torn down after filming because it didn't meet local building codes. The rooms were duplicated on an L.A. sound stage for night scenes. See more »
During the final sequence, Claire is obviously wearing dark red or pink underwear underneath her night gown. Later on, they turn white. See more »
What Lies Beneath: "This is a Passive/Aggressive Masterpiece"
Claire and Norman Spencer have a perfect marriage. Being happily married and raising Claire's college-bound daughter Caitlin makes them seem like a perfect couple in their quaint lakeside Vermont community. When Caitlin leaves, however, Claire starts experiencing strange phenomena that continually increase in intensity. What starts out as creaky floors and toppling pictures soon evolves into ghostly apparitions in the bathroom and paranormal attacks against Claire. Is Claire really under attack by a ghost? Or is she, as Norman fears, just completely crazy?
Zemeckis' foray into the thriller genre resulted in a great combination mystery/horror film. "What Lies Beneath", despite what the critics may have said, is a scary film. Director Robert Zemeckis isn't afraid to let tension build for close to an hour before giving us the first genuine jump-out-of-your-seat moment and, when it's as good a jump as this one is, it's worth the wait. In fact there are several "jump scares" in the film and they really are frightening. "What Lies Beneath" nearly had me hitting the ceiling with some of the scares it provides. That means Zemeckis did something right.
Robert Zemeckis always wanted to make a Hitchcockian thriller, and for the most part "What Lies Beneath" is just that. Zemeckis even makes sure to throw some Hitchcock references (Psycho, Rear Window) into the film as an homage to his inspiration. There are some excellent shots in this film that would make Hitchcock proud. The use of glass floors, for example, to let us get up close and personal with dropped objects or fallen characters is used effectively and just enough so that we don't get too much of a good thing. Zemeckis' choice of houses is also extremely Hitchcockian. It's a beautiful lakeside estate during the day, but at night it's like a monster looming in the distance: shadowy and imposing.
The only un-Hitchcockian aspect of the film is Zemeckis' use of CGI to obtain some shots. Not that I'm saying they're bad shots, they certainly are not that, but Hitchcock would find a way to do them without digital trickery were he alive today. Then again, Hitchcock was an unparalleled genius when it came to trick shots like moving a camera through a solid wall or floor. Zemeckis pulls off these kinds of shots in his own way, and they're still great.
A Zemeckis trademark is his ability to get great performances out of his cast, and "What Lies Beneath" is no exception. Michelle Pfeiffer is allowed to go completely bonkers in what should have been an Oscar nominated performance. Pfeiffer makes herself seem truly frightened, and she portrays Claire's mental breakdown very well. Harrison Ford is kept subdued and nearly monotone throughout most of the film, providing great surprises later on when his true emotions burst to the surface. I could imagine an Oscar nod for him too. Man, where was the Academy that year? The two personalities, one unbridled and afraid, the other disbelieving and confused, play off one another perfectly to create an aspect of marital discord that adds wonderfully to the film's complexity.
With plenty of twists and turns (which I dare not reveal) to keep you guessing to the end, great acting, virtuoso camera work, and some truly frightening moments, "What Lies Beneath" is a thriller that ranks with some of the best of them. This is another film that Robert Zemeckis can be proud of.
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