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What Lies Beneath (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 21 July 2000 (USA)
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The wife of a university research scientist believes that her lakeside Vermont home is haunted by a ghost - or that she is losing her mind.

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writers:

Clark Gregg (screenplay), Sarah Kernochan (story) | 1 more credit »
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927 ( 318)
7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Claire Spencer
Katharine Towne ... Caitlin Spencer
Miranda Otto ... Mary Feur
James Remar ... Warren Feur
Harrison Ford ... Norman Spencer
Victoria Bidewell ... Beatrice
Diana Scarwid ... Jody
Dennison Samaroo ... PhD Student #1
Jennifer Tung ... PhD Student #2
Eliott Goretsky Eliott Goretsky ... Teddy
Rachel Singer ... PhD Student #3
Daniel Zelman ... PhD Student #4
Ray Baker ... Dr. Stan Powell
Wendy Crewson ... Elena
Amber Valletta ... Madison Elizabeth Frank
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Storyline

Norman Spencer, a university research scientist, is growing more and more concerned about his wife, Claire, a retired concert cellist who a year ago was involved in a serious auto accident, and who has just sent off her daughter Caitlin (Norman's stepdaughter) to college. Now, Claire reports hearing voices and witnessing eerie occurrences in and around their lakeside Vermont home, including seeing the face of a young woman reflected in water. An increasingly frightened Claire thinks the phenomena have something to do with the couple living next door, especially since the wife has disappeared without apparent explanation. At her husband's urging, Claire starts to see a therapist; she tells him she thinks the house is being haunted by a ghost. His advice? Try to make contact. Enlisting the help of her best friend, Jody, and a ouija board, Claire seeks to find out the truth of What Lies Beneath. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some men cheat and get caught. Some men pay a higher price. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for terror/violence, sensuality and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What Lies Beneath See more »

Filming Locations:

Burlington, Vermont, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,702,959, 23 July 2000

Gross USA:

$155,464,351

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$291,420,351
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Five different versions of the bathroom set were constructed so various parts of the same scene could be filmed at different times on opposite coasts. See more »

Goofs

The bite Claire takes out of the apple is gone when she forces Norman to take a bite out of it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Claire Spencer: Good morning, Beauty. Let's go or we'll never leave on time.
Caitlin Spencer: I'm totally ready.
Claire Spencer: Come on. I'll make you some waffles.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the movie title first appears on screen, the word 'Lies' appears just before the rest of the title. See more »

Connections

References The Changeling (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Late
Written by J.C. Brandy (as Justine Brandy), Katie Harris, Lissa Beltri, Claudia Rossi & Doug DeAngelis
Performed by Lo-Ball (as LoBall)
Courtesy of Doug DeAngelis
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
You're not yourself today are you?
1 October 2009 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Claire and Norman Spencer's marriage starts to fall apart when she believes there is a ghost in the house. Things gather apace when Claire is convinced that the spirit is trying to tell her something. Something that could be too close to home for comfort.

Robert Zemeckis does Hitchcock? Well yes, the influence is obvious, unashamedly so. But the trouble with that, is having the maestro as a benchmark renders all other modern day attempts as folly. However, casting aside that gargantuan issue, What Lies Beneath is an effective creeper come thriller that boasts star credentials.

Directed by Zemeckis, formed from an idea by Steven Spielberg (from the story by Sarah Kernochan) and starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer as the fragmenting Spencer's. That's a pretty tidy bunch from which to launch your movie. What follows is a mixture of genuine unease and mystery, red herrings and standard boo jump moments, all of which almost gets lost on a saggy middle section as Zemeckis plays Hitchcock one too many times and loses sight of the supernatural heart of the piece, not helped by Clark Gregg's meandering script I might add. None the less, the picture gets pulled around for the finale as the spooky combines with thriller to produce some quality edge of the seat stuff. But it's only then that you totally realise that the makers here have tried to cram too much in to one film. In eagerness to manipulate the audience for the fine ending (though you probably will have it worked out at the half way point) the film just ends up as being confused as to what it mostly wanted to be.

Pfeiffer is excellent and looks stunning and Ford gives it gusto when the script allows. Support comes from Diana Scarwid, Joe Morton, Miranda Otto and James Remar. The house is suitably eerie with its waterside setting and Alan Silvestri's score is perfectly in tune with the creepy elements of the piece. It's a fine enough film in its own right, regardless of the Hitchcockian homages. It's just that it should have been a far better horror picture than it turned out to be. 7/10


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