What Lies Beneath (2000) Review

Claire Spencer is the wife of a University research scientist Norman Spencer and she begins to believe that their lakeside Vermont home is haunted by a ghost, or even worse she is losing her mind!


Claire is hitting a stage in her life where she is really struggling to come to terms with her own existence, recovering from a serious accident a year ago and retired from being a concert cellist. Then having to deal with her daughter Caitlin going off to college and leaving home. With a lot of time on her hands she begins to freak herself out by seeing a young woman’s face in the water and hearing things around the house.

She also becomes increasingly obsessed with watching their neighbours and is convinced that the husband killed his wife as he suddenly disappears. Norman raises concerns about her welling and wants her to start seeing a therapist. As it turns out though Norman is quite frankly not a nice man at all, despite what it may first appear and a lot of the things happening to Claire are all his fault, I mean I guess its no real surprise that a man was the downfall of the woman he was supposed to love.

The thing with this film is that the horror/thriller aspect is actually rather frightening and the suspense is truly incredible leading us as a viewer to truly believe that a ghost is at the core of everything that is happening. This results in plenty of jumpy scenes and makes you really think the film is going in a different direction to the twist at the end, which is in all honesty a bit of a let down.

By this point I am pretty sure that I have seen this film a few times, but the issue seems to be that I never fully remember the ending. On this most recent viewing I started to think oh yes I remember that tiny part, which I guess doesn’t say a whole lot about the film as a whole really if the ending is not all that memorable. The mixture of the genres just gets a little bit too lost for me.

Michelle Pfeiffer is everything, right? I mean I certainly think so, she is so easily the best thing about this film and I will actually watch her in anything! She is engaging though and as a character we do feel for Claire. Harrison Ford is such a charming man, we all know that and he is given some interesting moments as Norman and I guess the chemistry with Pfeiffer is ok considering they are a strained couple.

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