What You Need To Know:
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.
(PaPa, OO, FR, LL, VV, S, N, A, D, M) Pagan worldview with occult images & themes, including woman appears to be possessed by the spirit of a dead woman in one scene & a false religious doctrine about what can happen to you after you die; 8 obscenities & 16 profanities; moderate level of violence, but very scary situations, such as people startled many times, implied murder by drowning, attempted murder, killer suffers head injury with much bleeding, killer smashes window, fighting, depicted drowning & near drowning, & several images of rotting flesh; implied sex between married couples, with sounds of lovemaking from neighbors next door; upper male nudity & woman wears semi-sheer nightgown; alcohol use; smoking; and, betrayal & adultery.
Director Robert Zemeckis (BACK TO THE FUTURE, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, CONTACT, and FORREST GUMP) tries his hand at the horror and suspense genres in WHAT LIES BENEATH. He snatched two top-line actors to carry the movie, Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford.
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.