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Overall Rating
3.25

Awesome: 18.49%
Worth A Look: 24.66%
Average28.77%
Pretty Bad: 19.86%
Total Crap: 8.22%

8 reviews, 98 user ratings


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What Lies Beneath
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by Filmnet

"Great thriller marred by awful third act."
3 stars

The obvious intention here was to create a film using Hitchcock-style themes and suspense updated for a new audience, and in many ways Zemeckis succeeds brilliantly, weaving a twisty, creepy story that has the ability to keep us balancing precariously on the edge of our seats. Then the movie cliches kick in.

Claire and Norman (Pfeiffer and Ford) are a deliriously happy couple facing empty nest syndrome, which for Claire is even more serious as Norman is always at the lab working on his important medical research.

Alone in their rambling lakeside house, Claire starts seeing and hearing things, beginning with neighbours (Remar and Otto) whose constant arguments may have turned fatal. Then when a ghost appears, her worst suspicions are confirmed. Or are they? Maybe something else is actually going on here!

There are so many delicious layers to the story that it's impossible to outline them all here--father-son and mother-daughter dynamics, marital fragility, insinuating jealousy and most obviously the past coming back to get its revenge. Pfeiffer plays the role magnificently, assisted by Zemeckis' usual bag of cinematic tricks. As usual lately, Ford coasts through it, commanding the screen without doing anything much, really.

Lots of terrific actors fill in the typical tiny-but-quirky
supporting roles. The film looks absolutely fantastic, building the tension with clever camera work and very subtle effects, and until the final act it's the kind of suspense that does the Master proud--all unfounded suspicion and disbelief, hints of nefarious goings on, scary lurking things and red herrings on every side.

But the script abandons this promise for a big cop-out finale that panders to the most obvious movie formulas imaginable, most notably one ending after another until we scream, "enough already!" Even so, this is better than nine out of ten thrillers out there, so I should just stop complaining.--(Rich Cline)

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3873&reviewer=169
originally posted: 10/24/00 17:49:37
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell a routine ghost flick 3 stars
3/23/11 Nancy the movie did its job, scare the shit out of me. great movie. 4 stars
5/08/09 Samantha Pruitt very suspenseful, i like the story 4 stars
8/13/08 Brenda I think the biggest problem was Harris Ford was the bad guy. He didn't pull it off 2 stars
5/29/08 PAUL SHORTT ANYONE SEEKING EVEN A SMIDGEN OF SUBSTANCE SHOULD LOOK ELSEWHERE 1 stars
5/15/08 cinderella Great film with wonderful acting from Pfeiffer! 5 stars
12/15/06 R.W.Welch Hokey ending. Otherwise, not a bad suspense flick. 3 stars
8/14/06 Sharon didnt get half of it untill I watched it four times this movie is shitty 2 stars
8/05/06 nicolecrom2678 scared the crap out of me!! Great film! 5 stars
1/12/05 Tom Benton Well-done thriller, faintly reminescent of one of Hitchcock's late works. 4 stars
11/17/04 Daragh Michelle Pfieffer is amazing 4 stars
8/19/04 courtney scared the fricking shit out of me a hve to see for thrill seekers 4 stars
6/03/04 Angel Scary, sexy and very, very damp. Beautiful movie. 4 stars
4/19/04 Nevz More like artificially made. Boring! 3 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart this was a good film not like all the other horror movies.(NOT REALLY A TEEN MOVIE) 4 stars
3/08/04 Vince I enjoyed that one 4 stars
1/08/04 A F Oh yeah this was a movie. 2 stars
9/09/03 Laura Stuart James Remar MADE this movie!!!!! 5 stars
7/24/03 Kit Good thriller...better than a stupid slasher film any day 4 stars
7/18/03 Chris It's not only how scary it is but how it scares you. Artfully made, directed, and acted. 4 stars
6/14/03 Alice Great Thriller, Good one ! 5 stars
4/22/03 Jenny Tullwartz Pfeiffer her usual portrait of mediocrity; Ford would better be left typecast as a hero. 3 stars
4/09/03 JL this movie kicked ass!! 5 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Flawed but pretty suspenseful when needed. Ludicrous ending, though. 3 stars
12/28/02 Rayna Kuzio I love a good ghost film... 4 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Obvious horror dressed up with money 3 stars
9/24/02 I Can't Swim Belongs on USA Network w/Tim Matheson & Sally Kirkland 1 stars
9/10/02 Ashley Stinson Hitchcock had a great influence on this film. 5 stars
9/09/02 Ben Wasden What Lies Beneath made me jump and I enjoyed it much more than the Sixth Sense. 5 stars
7/20/02 ! Unpredictable, good film 4 stars
7/12/02 KMG Moves slower than a constipated turd 3 stars
4/23/02 Danielle Ophelia Not a bone-crushing fall, but definitely a slight stumble. 3 stars
4/14/02 Shrike Interesting, but on a middle level 3 stars
4/04/02 cat really scary! I never guessed the ending...for once. 5 stars
3/14/02 Valerie Cameron Harrison Ford demonstrates that some performers are better left typecast. 3 stars
2/05/02 femmemina and u thought it's predictable...it left me with mouth agape 4 stars
1/17/02 David A. Really great ghost story--spooky, suspensful, and intelligent. Aquatic effect was original. 5 stars
1/13/02 Andrew Carden Other Then Zemeckis's Direction, This Movie Falls Apart Instantly. 2 stars
1/13/02 breeze4sd great film 5 stars
12/01/01 Mark Conway Total utter pish, fell asleep twice while watching it, predictable plot. 1 stars
11/27/01 sdfr Two leads' Hollywood star profile kinda ruins this one. Fitfully interesting only. 3 stars
10/09/01 Mark Conway this was a crap movie, with no scares at all. 2 stars
9/07/01 Gary Pfieffer is excellent, the direction and cinematography are great, but an overall letdown. 3 stars
9/03/01 Butterbean I've always wanted to see Pfeiffer and Ford together. I guess this film will have to do. 3 stars
8/31/01 Bada Bing Crosby I must have seen the shitty version-movie is so awful I can't believe it 1 stars
8/31/01 Hooker with a Penis A cool movie, kinda Hitchcockian in overall style... Therefore good. 4 stars
8/08/01 Mr. Hat Really suspenseful and heart-pounding. Like a revised "Fatal Attraction." 4 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Some of it kicked ass, most of it sucked ass...I'll go average. 3 stars
5/25/01 I love movies imagine this movie without the big name actors - they'd only show it on TV 3 stars
4/25/01 TigerDream Too slow, too predictable, and not very scary at all 2 stars
4/21/01 Monday Morning HF actually tries some acting. That's worth a point. Otherwise, a SLOW movie. 3 stars
4/18/01 Robbo OK But dont believe the hype its just not scary! 3 stars
4/09/01 ChErRyRiPe Very good, a bit slow but the end was great! 4 stars
3/09/01 The Evil Penguin scarier than Poltergeist 5 stars
3/08/01 Sanja I didn't expect this. 4 stars
3/08/01 Sanja I didn't expect this. 5 stars
2/16/01 Del R This could be shown on the lifetime network "Men bad, Women good" 4 stars
2/13/01 CJ O' Callaghan What the fuck is wrong with u'r reviewers!?- this is a great horror film- scary as hell ! 5 stars
2/09/01 DREDD ending is too typical and overplayed 3 stars
2/06/01 John Lyons First horror movie I've been excited about in a long time! 5 stars
2/02/01 The Bomb 69 very slow the first half, picked up somewhat but the ending was drawn out 3 stars
2/01/01 Dan Waldman Suspicion + Vertigo+Rear Window +Diabolique 4 stars
1/11/01 Matt69 All style no substance. Ford and Pfieffer keep it from sucking ass 2 stars
12/31/00 Mic Shooting quite good, writing quite bad (examples of both: the ending) 3 stars
12/17/00 Connoisseur it's all cliche... but well done! 4 stars
12/14/00 Kook Cliche. 2 stars
12/14/00 Tom Though a little slow, the ending is climactic, and a great new role for Ford. Great Film! 5 stars
12/03/00 scott wahls full of surprises but moved a little slow, not for those with ADD 4 stars
11/22/00 Ken Sherwood Brilliant, Gripping 5 stars
11/19/00 viking "The Sixth Sense" meets "Psycho" 3 stars
11/17/00 Beck I don't usually scare easily but this made me jump and kept me on the edge of my seat! 4 stars
11/11/00 Matthew Bartley Dull in places but very scary in others 4 stars
11/11/00 C.Chew it's not really that fantastic, but yet not that bad either. so it's up to u to decide! 3 stars
10/25/00 YOUR Movie Expert The Sixth Sense rip-offs have started, this one's slow and has a terrible ending. 1 stars
10/24/00 Gray Stupid score and crappy ending but brilliantly made and does have its shocks. 4 stars
10/05/00 Jackie What Lies Beneath is AWESOME!! I think this movie made me jump about ten times. Great movie 5 stars
9/19/00 Tim A good movie, but there should be a 2 minute warning so you can leave before the ending 4 stars
9/17/00 Leena Varkey Only the cast is good!! 3 stars
9/08/00 Tdis72 Very good movie. Michelle and Harrison does a good job in this shocking thriller. 5 stars
8/09/00 Bueller I was expecting something very Hitchcockian. I was entertained, but seriously disappointed. 3 stars
8/08/00 chris I thought it was cool but who ever wrote it should go back to comic books. 4 stars
8/02/00 IBDN Good until the ending 4 stars
8/01/00 PJ Trish, I too have never screamed ever, but I yelled out" OH God"! I got scared, great movie 5 stars
7/31/00 Fenris Harrison Ford makes it worth the money! 5 stars
7/31/00 Philm Phreak zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 2 stars
7/30/00 my2cents this film was extremely poor 1 stars
7/27/00 extar-bags Good; in the hitchcock style. Worth paying for, even! 4 stars
7/27/00 Eric Hodel Lots of good twists, nearly got my arm ripped off 4 stars
7/26/00 Alexandra the suspense nearly slaughtered me. 5 stars
7/25/00 Krystal Great Movie! 5 stars
7/25/00 Vesse Best movie I've seen all summer!!! 5 stars
7/25/00 Trish Edwards I actually screamed at one point - I NEVER do that! 5 stars
7/24/00 Poetcdh Totally Predictable "surprises" 2 stars
7/22/00 Matt Thiel Left me with a bad taste in my mouth that poisons the rest of the film. 2 stars
7/22/00 Al Hitchcock Loved this film!!! 5 stars
7/22/00 Ginger it scared the shit out of me 5 stars
7/22/00 Rue the Whirl too many tired "scare" tactics, but otherwise engaging enough to keep your attention 4 stars
7/14/00 **~**Persnickety**~** this movie is fucking great, the ending totally took me by surprise! harrison rules! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Jul-2000

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Nov-2000 (M)


Directed by
  Robert Zemeckis

Written by
  Clark Gregg

Cast
  Harrison Ford
  Michelle Pfeiffer
  Wendy Crewson
  James Remar
  Joe Morton
  Miranda Otto



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