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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What lies beneath (released in 2000) - A supernatural thriller starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford - a big hit

This movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford was one of the biggest hits of the year. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis and was highly influenced by Hitchcockian movies.
The movie starts with the troubles of Claire and Norman a well-to- do couple who move to Vermont. After her daughters departure for college Claire who suffers from memory lapses start feeling uneasy at their home. She spies one of their neighbors Warren dragging a heavy body bag and concludes that he has murdered his wife Mary. Claire confronts and accuses Warren of murder and is in turn proved false when Mary is found alive in the house. Norman, Claire's husband, a distinguished professor thinks that Claire is going senile.
Unconvinced Claire conducts a séance to channel the spirit with her friend. Soon mysterious things starts happening in her house, like things falling down, the doors slamming etc. Claire finds a missing report of Madison Frank behind one of the picture frames. She visits Madison's mother and finds out that Madison was Norman's student int the university. She comes back with a lock of Madison's hair and performs a ritual to allow the spirit to possess her. A possessed Claire seduces Norman and during the act he sees the change in her appearance. A scared Norman pushes Claire which makes her loose contact with the spirit. Slowly Claire's memory returns and she remembers her husband's affair with Madison.

Norman confesses of the affair; telling Claire that he told Madison her that he loved Claire very much and could not leave her for Madison. This forced the unstable Madison to commit suicide. Norman says that he had seen her corpse with a letter written to Claire which was burnt by him. He also acknowledges of pushing the body in to the lake to make it disappear. Claire asks him to confess everything to the authorities. Norman pretends to do so and is found out.
To get rid of Claire Norman gags and places her in the tub and fill sit up with water to facilitate her drowning. He leans forward to give her a kiss that Claire's face morphs in to Madison's corpse like face. A scared Norman hits his head on the mirror and is rendered unconscious. Claire escapes in her car to reach the authorities. Norman follows her and forces her car in to the lake where he had pushed Madison's body.
As they struggle to get out of the lake Norman Grabs Claire's legs to prevent her from escaping. But Madison's ghost appear to drag Norman down allowing Claire to surface. She escapes and Norman is drowned to pay for his sins. Claire pays her respects at Madison's grave and leaves for a new life.
This movie is so highly influenced by Hitchcock's dramatization that the critics have drawn several parallels to Hitchcock's various movies. This film was the first film for Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer as a pair. Harrison Ford has gone on record saying that Michelle Pfeiffer's presence was the motivating factor for his signing the film. The movie went on to become the block buster of 2000. A good spooky horror movie for all.

What lies beneath (released in 2000) - A supernatural thriller starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford - a big hit

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