What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of What Lies Beneath

This is a beautiful-looking DVD with a cleverly designed, slip-on outer shell.

The extras are well presented, with a teasy mini-trailer of scary images to put you in the mood. Sadly, the content does not match up.

Copy picture

Constructing The Perfect Thriller is hardly that. Between short sequences from the film and a mouthful of uninteresting remarks about their characters from the stars, this is really a short biography on the rise and rise of the director, Robert Zemeckis.

After winning a short film competition in California, straight out of school, he was picked up by Steven Spielberg to make a couple of critically acclaimed teen flicks that made no money and then, when he was gaining a reputation for being accomplished, but uncommercial, Michael Douglas went against the advice of his peers, and chose him to direct Romancing The Stone. After that came Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump and Back To The Future. The man is gold, they seem to be saying. As a marketing tool, this featurette is slick. You want to slide between the smiles, but can't.

The Audio Commentary is not the wise-and-wonderful Zemeckis talking you through each scene, as you might expect. It's a waffle between the director and his two producers. Because you can't recognise one voice from another, you don't know who says, "It's like cooking with garlic. You can never have too much garlic." To which, another adds, "You can never have too much style."

They acknowledge that the movie is a tribute to Hitchcock, or, perhaps, a steal. "What would Hitchcock have done if he had all the special effects?" Answer: something less expensive. Both houses were constructed for the movie. That's interesting, because they are so convincing and atmospheric. They don't talk about them in any detail.

"I love it when Harrison does his own stunts," one of them says. "He loves it."

Scene of Ford running along a dock and diving into a cold lake.

"He's very good at it," one of the others says.

Do you want to know that Pfeiffer hates water, or that the person most in tune with the mood of the movie is the composer, or that Diana Scarwid, who plays a brief supporting role, is "like the real deal"?

What is missing in this commentary is any focused discussion. You don't feel in the company of great cinematic minds.

"I wonder what you do as an actress when you become possessed?"

"I don't want to know. That's their job."

Well, you do want to know, actually.

Reviewed on: 20 Sep 2001
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What Lies Beneath packshot
Michelle Pfeiffer is haunted by the ghost of a murdered student.
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Product Code: F1-SGB20021DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35:1

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: Featurette - Constructing The Perfect Thriller, Cast/Crew Biogs, Production Notes, Trailer, Audio Commentary

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