Retro Reviews: What Lies Beneath (2000)

Robert Zemeckis directed this psychological, supernatural thriller which, in an abrupt change of genre, showcases the premiere acting ability of Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford.

Retro Reviews: What Lies Beneath (2000)

What Lies Beneath (2000)

It’s a haunting horror film that grabs your attention with both some great and some cliche trappings of all the ghostly goings-on. And, of course, only Claire Spencer- the lead character, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, gets to witness them.

Also predictable but well done, is the fact that her important university research scientist of a husband, played by Ford, is somewhat aloof and, doesn’t believe any of it. The movie does have a nice eery, tense, pace and a grey, ghostly feel though that plays very well with horror/thriller movies. Further, the pace builds right along with the progressive intensity of Claire’s fears.

The plot centres around the main characters, especially, Claire Spencer, who is home alone after her daughter leaves for college. Claire begins to notice strange, compelling things occurring around her home and at first tries to dismiss it. However, her dear, social-climbing husband, Norman Spencer, does not believe her and subsequently tries to dismiss each experience. Eventually, he becomes annoyed and more and more impatient with her claims. At the same time Claire uncovers more as she delves into the clues and cries coming at her from the afterworld. She can no longer deny the hauntings and believes they are actual pleas and info from a woman that has gone missing and is asking for justice. But very soon Norman Spencer has to face the truth as well, and here is where the real suspense begins.

The Official Trailer below will give you an insight of the mood of the film:

Well-known film critic Robert Ebert was impressed enough with the film to call Pfeiffer’s performance “ convincing and sympathetic”. Both Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer won Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for Favourite Actor – Suspense and Favourite Actress – Suspense. Diana Scarwid, who played Jody, Claire’s friend, was nominated for Favourite Supporting Actress – Suspense.

The film was nominated for three Saturn Award nominations and is a must for Pfeiffer and Ford fans. If you haven’t caught this film and you are a horror/thriller film buff, make sure you do. I give it a 7/10 as it loses in the cliche and predictability aspects but still an intense horror film to enjoy.

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