Stars: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer
Ths is a stylish suspense in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock but there’s so much dead space in this film that it becomes just a so-so terror fest. I don’t know why directors feel the need to bore their audiences. We have to pay the same price no matter what the length and frankly, I’d rather see a tight tale of terror than one that I yawn through.
Michelle Pfeiffer plays Claire Spenser who we learn was a spectacular professional cellist who gave up her craft to play perfect wife to Harrison Ford’s famed geneticist Norman Spencer who stands in the shadow of his father’s greatness. They live in a beautiful house on a lake in Vermont not far from where Norman works at a university doing science projects. Claire’s only daughter has just gone off to college so she’s faced with that empty-nest syndrome and a big empty house to boot.
From the get go there are haunted goings on the house. Only Claire is party to them and Norman, who’s preparing a very important paper on his genetic findings, doesn’t want to hear a peep from Claire about ghostly matters. So, it’s up to Claire to investigte, which she does quite readily, snooping at the next door neighbor’s and quickly deciding that the husband murdered the wife.
It’s all too much for Norman who now decides that Claire has lost her mind and off she goes to a shrink played by Joe Morton where Claire questions her onw motives and sanity. Still, the hauntings continue.
Don’t get me wrong. There are some very nifty spooky events and pop-out-of-your-seat scenes. But it’s too long for sure. It also wasn’t too hard at guessing where it was going early on. Still it’s largely fun to watch.
The other thing I had trouble with was the very first scene of Mr. and Mrs. Perfect in their bedroom and all that lovey-dovey stuff. It looked like two actors playing at lovey-dovey stuff – more like I was watching an audition rather than two super-stars and a director coaxing me into a thriller. That bothered me tremendously.
Also features Diana Scarwid as best friend Jody while James Remar and Miranda Otto play the next-door neighbors Warren and Mary Feur.
Lotta says “What Lies Beneath” will keep your pacemaker ticking but this is no “The Sixth Sense”.