What Lies Beneath (2000)

Robert Zemeckis directs Michelle Pfeiffer, Harrison Ford and James Remar in this supernatural thriller where a housewife is distracted from her empty nest by the strange goings on of her new neighbours and the ghost trying to unveil a dark secret closer to home. 

A slickly sheen shining exercise in stylish homage breathing in unashamed guffs of Hitchcock, Cluzout and an 1980’s blockbuster which I won’t mention aloud for fear of spoiling the best surprise. This was a side project, made in the downtime while filming Cast Away, when Robert Zemeckis got a few months off while Tom Hanks lost weight and grew dreads. It gave Zemeckis the chance to work with two major stars, Pfeiffer and Ford. Both of whom deliver career highlights here and their last respective hits of their peak periods. And the always cutting edge director does playfully exciting stuff with CGI and well designed sets in the elongated grand finale. The potboiler is equally fun in the first act when getting lost in a barrel of red herrings. But it does grow repetitive before the true peril emerges, long before. Something so simple really shouldn’t be exhausting for big swathes. As a one watch experience this glossy thriller justifies itself. You get a barrage of twists, cliffhangers and classy leads. Our Saturday night revisit 18 years later didn’t help its fond legacy much though.


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