What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

3.9 24
Director: Robert Zemeckis

Cast: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Diana Scarwid


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In this supernatural thriller, a woman believes that a visitor from another dimension is trying to guide her into a sinister mystery. Feeling lonely after her daughter leaves home for college, Claire (Michelle Pfeiffer) begins to sense that something is wrong in her house, and feels a spirit is trying to contact her. At first her husband Norman (Harrison Ford), a…  See more details below


In this supernatural thriller, a woman believes that a visitor from another dimension is trying to guide her into a sinister mystery. Feeling lonely after her daughter leaves home for college, Claire (Michelle Pfeiffer) begins to sense that something is wrong in her house, and feels a spirit is trying to contact her. At first her husband Norman (Harrison Ford), a scientist doing research in genetics, attributes her paranormal beliefs to stress or possibly a nervous breakdown, and sends her to a psychiatrist (Joe Morton) who puts no more stock in Claire's stories than does Norman. While Claire's contention that someone or something sinister is afoot leads her down a number of blind alleys, in time she becomes convinced that the mysterious happenings at her home are somehow connected to the disappearance of a woman who was a student at the nearby college -- and bore a striking resemblance to Claire. What Lies Beneath marked the debut of screenwriter Clark Gregg, whose script is based on a story by himself and Sarah Kernochan; the supporting cast includes Diana Scarwid as Claire's best friend Jody, and James Remar and Miranda Otto as a contentious couple living next door.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Joe Nigro
Whereas Alfred Hitchcock defined the shower as the focus of horror in the home, director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) makes the case for avoiding the bath in his suspense thriller What Lies Beneath. Taking a chilling and macabre dive into rustic Vermont, the story follows Claire (Michelle Pfeiffer), a lonely, high-strung housewife, whose struggles with inexplicable supernatural occurrences in her home eventually reveal frightening secrets both about her busy husband (Harrison Ford) and herself. In a movie with only occasional glimpses of predictability, thanks in part to Clark Greg's twisty script, Zemeckis provides well-timed shocks amid deft references to Hitchcock classics, ranging from Psycho to Vertigo to Rear Window. Ford and Pfeiffer both deliver taut and credible performances in what is a refreshing return to pure cinematic suspense, proving that the hack-and-slash excesses of horror in the '90s need not be the norm.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Much as it did to the freshman efforts of Brian De Palma two decades earlier, the spirit of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock seems to be guiding the path of this thriller from Robert Zemeckis that's overlong and too derivative but which does contain some effective chills. Genuine shocks and effective plot twists are to be found in the second half of What Lies Beneath, but the film suffers greatly from its elaborate red herring of a first act. While clever and reminiscent of Hitchcock's awe-inspiring, brief use of Janet Leigh in Psycho (1960), the film's intentionally misleading side road stretches on interminably, testing viewer patience once the equally complicated "real" ghost story gets underway. There is much to like in What Lies Beneath, however, including an excellent performance from the luminous Michelle Pfeiffer and a risk-taking, against-type role filled ably by Harrison Ford that's unmistakably reminiscent of some similar rolls of the dice performed during the career of another all-American icon, James Stewart. If What Lies Beneath feels rushed at times (a particular establishing shot of the film's main location is repeated endlessly from exactly the same angle and position), perhaps it's because Zemeckis filmed it while on hiatus from another production, Cast Away.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Sales rank:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Harrison Ford Norman Spencer
Michelle Pfeiffer Claire Spencer
Diana Scarwid Jody
Miranda Otto Mary Feur
James Remar Warren Feur
Joe Morton Dr. Drayton
Amber Valletta Madison Elizabeth Frank
Victoria Bidewell Beatrice
Katharine Towne Caitlin Spencer
Ray Baker Dr. Stan Powell
Mitch Carter Loop Group
Wendy Crewson Elena
Tom Dahlgren Dean Templeton
Moosie Drier Loop Group
Bridget Hoffman Loop Group
Donna Lynn Leavy Loop Group
Micole Mercurio Mrs. Frank
Edie Mirman Loop Group
Sloane Shelton Mrs. Templeton
Daniel Zelman PhD Student #4
Rachel Singer PhD Student #3
Philece Sampler Loop Group
Iake Eissinmann Loop Group
Jennifer Tung PhD Student #2
David Cowgill Loop Group
Eliott Goretsky Teddy
Alexander Newell Loop Group
Dennison Samaroo PhD Student #1
Donald Taylor Male EMT Worker
Claudette Wells Loop Group
Alan Silvestri Conductor

Technical Credits
Robert Zemeckis Director,Producer
Arthur Schmidt Editor
Thomas L. Bellissimo Special Effects Supervisor
Steven J. Boyd Associate Producer
Joan Bradshaw Executive Producer
Don Burgess Cinematographer
Rick Carter Production Designer
Carla Corwin Asst. Director
Jeff Dashnaw Stunts
Tracy Dashnow Stunts
Craig Davis Stunts
Marcia de Bonis Casting
Susie de Santo Costumes/Costume Designer
Tara DeBach Stunts
Stefan Dechant Art Director
Jerry Donegan Special Effects
Beverli Eagan Set Decoration/Design
Jon Epstein Stunts
Debbie Evans Stunts
Tony Fanning Art Director
Clark Gregg Original Story,Screenwriter
Sony Pictures Imageworks Special Effects
Frank Iudica Special Effects
Cinda-Lin James Stunts
Maryellen James Makeup
Kris Jeffrey Stunts
Mark Johnson Executive Producer
William B. Kaplan Sound/Sound Designer
Sarah Kernochan Original Story,Screenwriter
Pamela Klamer Set Decoration/Design
Joyce Kogut Costumes/Costume Designer
Elizabeth Lapp Art Director
Michael Laudati Makeup
Rob Legato Special Effects,Special Effects Supervisor
Ellen Lewis Casting
Alicia MacCarone Set Decoration/Design
Steve Maderas Stunts
Cherylanne Martin Associate Producer
Masako Masuda Set Decoration/Design
Mark "Crash" McCreery Art Director
Josh McLaglen Asst. Director
Andy Miller Special Effects
Andy Miller Special Effects
Karen O'Hara Set Decoration/Design
Tricia Peters Stunts
Bernie Pollack Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Presley Camera Operator
Jack Rapke Producer
Darin John Rivetti Asst. Director
Troy Robinson Stunts
Pat Romano Stunts
Vanessa Rooke Stunts
Mike Runyard Stunts
Joel Sill Consultant/advisor
Alan Silvestri Score Composer
Ronnie Specter Makeup
Stan Winston Studio Makeup Special Effects
Steve Starkey Producer
Robert Steadman Cinematographer
Patte Strong-Lord Set Decoration/Design
Christy Sumner Special Effects
Beck Taylor Set Decoration/Design
Jim Teegarden Production Designer
Randy Thom Sound/Sound Designer
Mike Thomas Cinematographer
Malia K. Thompson Special Effects
Shannon J. Thompson Special Effects
Tyra Youland Costumes/Costume Designer
Thomas Zell Special Effects

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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Index
1. Caitlin Goes To College (Opening Titles) [6:26]
2. Noisy Neighbors [3:37]
3. Terrified Mrs. Feur [6:07]
4. Good Neighbors [4:03]
5. Opening Doors [6:59]
6. Spying On Mr. Feur [6:12]
7. Old Friends [4:05]
8. Reflections In The Tub [3:20]
9. Doctor's Visit [2:54]
10. Seance [7:16]
11. Something Is Happening To Me [3:45]
12. A Visit With Mary Feur [4:42]
13. Madison Elizabeth Frank [7:04]
14. Forbidden Fruit [7:58]
15. A Presence In Our House [:35]
16. Exorcism By Fire [1:33]
17. I Will Make It Up To You [5:48]
18. Unlocking The Mystery [5:07]
19. Norman's Confession [4:32]
20. The Suicide Set Up [5:51]
21. Trying To Call For Help [4:31]
22. Over The Bridge [7:41]
23. Rest In Peace [5:39]
24. End Credits [2:38]


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What Lies Beneath 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the first SCARY movies thats was actually SCARY. Saw it three times, and it scared the hell out of me those three times. It's a must buy
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is worth the money......
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was just wonderful. The way the the movie was presented in an Al Hitchcock manner was superb and the great camera angles were just a part of this banana split of a movie. So many tastful elements yet all of them were crucial to the film. Watch out for the last fifteen minutes of the film because you might need a diaper because I did! Compralo! Buy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is excellent! There is so many twists and turns that it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Not too much blood, but still a creepy movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
''What Lies Beneath'' is a horror movie that is about a haunting that goes on in a couple's house. After their daughter moves to college, strange things start to happen. Later on in the movie, you find that a lot of people have been lying. But, who lies beneath the lies...and who's the other person? This is an out of your seat thriller and a good night chiller.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was tastefully done, but very scary still. The plot was definitely there, and the dialog was good. It was more of a mystery, but it still really scared me. Go buy this!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was the best I've ever seen. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. i couldnt reccommend a better movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellant scripting and direction, a real chiller. Predictable, with a twist. Definately one for the library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film seems to be the worst movie I've seen in years. Every scene is so predictable, any 11 year old would tell you what's next. How can THIS be a thriller? What worked for a scary movie 50 years ago doesn't cut any more? If a load sound effect follows every time Harrison Ford opens his eyes, it doesn't somehow make it a horror movie. For the entire duration of this flick there's a feeling that characters are just not knowing what they are doing... I would not recommend this movie to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this movie is the best because it had a little bit of everything. I hope they keep making movies like this more often
Guest More than 1 year ago
Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfiffer both are amazing in this movie.Each are very convincing in thier parts.This was a great flick because it reminded me of an old thriller but with a modern edge.So exciting! A great story line that leaves you with your jaw dropped to the floor.My advise is to watch it late at night with a friend......cause its gonna freak you out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would say this is one of the best thrillers of this generation of films. It has none of the usual profanity or slashing in it. It's a clean thriller, that even though you have watched it before, it promises to scare you over & over! It's worth adding to your collection of videos. Both Michelle Pfeiffer & Harrison Ford give a chilling performance in this movie. It was worth every dime I spent. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
We're watching this movie in my 8th grade speech class (13 and 14 year olds) and with the lights out (even at 10:30 in the morning) this movie scared the heck outta me! Everyone in the class continually jumped and many girls screamed on countless occasions. My heart sure did get exercise watching this movie! i dont think it ever once slowed down, even from the beginning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is really good, and it's definitely creepy. You'll enjoy it! There is definitley an adrenalin rush!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the all-time worst films i have ever seen, despite a decent performance by Ford and Pfieffer. The premise of this movie is a good one that could have been done a lot better. The entire first half of the movie is wasted on a subplot that has nothing to do with the film as a whole, and is meant only to suggest supernatural phenomena that isn't really there, but might be there, but isn't really there, but it could be, and it never really gets cleared up. This is a cliche i am really tiring of in modern horror movies. Just once, i would like a movie like this to end with actual supernatural occurences. After all, it is a movie, so why not? Instead there's always a logical explanation, and the case of this film a ridiculous and unentertaining one. This movie throws twist after twist after twist at you, until they're just boring and expected and tiring. It is also about an hour too long, and not to mention a complete waste of time. I was not remotely anxious, let alone scared, once during the entire film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story had an interesting premise: that of a professor's extramarital fling with a graduate student coming back to haunt him in a supernatural way. An excellent cast of actors was chosen, and beautiful scenery that was supposed to be in Vermont was a definite plus. The movie itself was entirely too long and slow moving. After about the second hour, my daughter decided to take a nap, so I thought I would, too, and I had wanted to see this movie for some time. I couldn't tell who was being represented at times...the wife or the girlfriend...and the ending was rather lackluster. Spend your money on another DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What Lies Beneath is a great movie. The story throughout is tasteful and chilling. It is the basis of a classic contemporary thriller. What really made it good was its actors, Michelle Pfieffer and Harrison Ford. Michelle Pfieffer more importantly. She is convincing and flawless in this film. She makes you believe the hauntings and bizarre occurrances. However, the ending of the film was somewhat disappointing. Throughout the film, the story goes at a steady, detailed pace and then once the climax is reached it rushes through like an obease child heading for the candy isle. Plus, it wasn't such a shocking ending either. It was rather dry and pretty ridiculous. It crossed the line from supernatural to downright impossible. But the story makes up for these flaws. It came as a shock to me that What Lies Beneath didn't get that good of ratings from those like Roger Ebert and Rolling Stone. I thought it was rather good. See it, you won't regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After her daughter is off to college, Clarie's mind and heart are open to a flood of emotions and memories, making her vulnerable and unsure of what is ahead. Out of nowhere she begins to experience strange things she can not explain leading her to a mystery that she must solve alone, or so she thinks. This is a classic ghost story, a little slow at first, but its a fun film to watch. The ending is reminissant of any orgiginal ghost story, a life once lived, taken away through violence, seeking revenge on their murderer. Michelle gives a great performance in this one.
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