WHAT LIES BENEATH
Release Date: July 21, 2000
Audience: Older teenagers & adults
Runtime: 130 minutes
Distributor: DreamWorks & 20th Century Fox
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Executive Producer: Joan Bradshaw & Mark Johnson
Writer: Clark Gregg
Address Comments To:Jeffrey Katzenberg & Steven Spielberg
100 Universal Plaza, Bldg. 10
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 733-7000
Web Page: www.dreamworks.com
Michelle Pfeiffer plays Claire Spencer, whose married to a very successful genetics scientist named Norman, played by Harrison Ford. They seem to be a very happily married couple until Claire gets concerned about the wellbeing of her next door neighbor, who has had several fights with her husband. When the woman disappears, Claire begins having encounters and visions of what she believes to be the ghost of the dead wife. This leads to friction between Claire and her level-headed husband, Norman. Without giving away the surprises in the plot, Claire consults a ouija board and a psychiatrist but nothing seems to help until Claire takes a personal interest in investigating things. Her investigation leads to some surprising developments and twists. In the end, the ghost lends a hand in trying to help Claire survive the evil she uncovers.
WHAT LIES BENEATH has plenty of scary moments and action to keep its story moving and the audience involved. It’s not as clever, however, as last year’s hit, THE SIXTH SENSE, and really does not offer anything audiences haven’t seen before on the Big Screen. In fact, the audience was anticipating some of the scares in the movie, because of the movie’s traditional approach. Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance is truly outstanding, however. This movie requires her to do a lot of finely tuned emotional reactions, and she performs beyond the call of duty. As usual, Harrison Ford is good, but his performance here does not measure up to his best work in THE FRISCO KID, WITNESS, or the STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES movies.
Finally, this movie contains a lot of foul language with too many really scary scenes, especially for children and young teenagers. Furthermore, since WHAT LIES BENEATH is partly a tale about the revenge of a ghost, its occult pagan worldview just adds to the spiritual ignorance of most people. The movie suggests that dead people who have been murdered cannot rest in their graves until their killers have been caught. Such a belief may seem ridiculous to many people in the light of good common sense, but it’s a belief that many psychics share. In fact, psychics have been on major television programs, like CNN’s LARRY KING LIVE, and even news programs, advocating this belief, and others like it. These psychics have managed to gather quite a large following in the public at large. They even advertise on TV and in the streets of many large cities. So, don’t let people tell you, or your children, that WHAT LIES BENEATH is only a movie designed to make money by attracting people who like a good scare. It’s more than that. It has a non-Christian and non-biblical, if not anti-Christian and anti-biblical, worldview with occult images and themes, including a false religious doctrine about what can happen to you after you die. This should not arouse uncontrollable angry, but it is a very serious matter.
The good news, however, is that people of faith can combat such screwy beliefs by talking to other people about the truth of God, the Bible and Jesus Christ and by supporting churches and ministries like MOVIEGUIDE® and the Christian Film & Television Commission which take a stand for this truth. Thus, fighting evil with good is the best weapon in the spiritual war engulfing humanity.
WHAT LIES BENEATH has plenty of scary moments and action to keep its story moving and the audience involved. It’s not as clever, however, as last year’s hit, THE SIXTH SENSE, and really does not offer anything audiences haven’t seen before, although Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance is truly outstanding. Furthermore, since it’s partly a tale about the revenge of a ghost, its occult pagan worldview may just add to the spiritual ignorance of susceptible people.