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What Lies Beneath What Lies Beneath

This is Michelle Pfeiffer's film.  She is the focus of a ghost, who appears in water attempting to convey a message to Pfeiffer's Claire Spencer, in a screen play that successfully nibbles at pieces of other films designed for tension and suspense.

Pfeiffer is splendid as half of a loving happy couple.  Her husband (Harrison Ford), a member of the faculty at a local college, holds a coveted Dupont seat in genetics.  They live in the Spencer family home on the edge of a lake in Vermont.  When her daughter, Caitlin leaves for college she is alone in a big splendid house while her husband dedicates himself to a world where rats are paralyzed for genetic research.

From her rear window, she sees a neighbor place a suspicious package in his trunk in the middle of the night following her encounter with his sobbing wife who confesses through a knot hole in the fence that she is frightened and unhappy.  Along with seeing a face in her bath and in a steamed mirror the encounter with the neighbors begins to unravel her balance and we see Pfeiffer change from a loving confident woman to a frightened fearful insecure victim of her apparitions.

Director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) brings us to the bath tub more often than is necessary, however he uses its lure to draw Clair deeper into the mission of the ghost.  We see a spirit that can't rest, eyes that are blue then green, a curious dog, a romance, a Mustang that is missing, scary neighbors, nights forgotten, a broken picture, a lost key, an old friend and sins unaccounted for all leading toward a twisted climax.

As Pfeiffer's vulnerability grows she brings us to the edge of our seats and before we learn the truth, popcorn boxes are crushed and soft drinks squeezed, as we realize this is the best thriller in a long time and it's all accomplished with only one drop of blood and a convincing performance by Michelle Pfeiffer.

What Lies Beneath

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