WHAT LIES BENEATH

Director:  Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Diana Scarwid

A young woman becomes convinced that she is being haunted by a woman her husband may have killed.

The appeal of this very predictable ghost story is somewhat mystifying. Often lauded as a Hitchcockian shocker (something that Alan Silvestriís Bernard Herrmannesque score strives to enhance), itís actually much closer to the 1981 film adaptation of Peter Straubís novel Ghost Story and the underrated Stir of Echoes. There's one scene that Hitchcock (or Dario Argento, master of the set piece, for that matter) would be proud of (the bathtub scene), and a creepy atmosphere prevails, but otherwise this is routine, compently-directed fare.

The 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer is impeccable, and the 5.1 Dolby Digital sound mix (at 384kbps) is very elaborate. Fox's retail disc contains all the supplementary material from the Region 1 American edition. This includes a trailer and a documentary, rather immodestly titled Constructing The Perfect Thriller (15m), which also serves as a mini-documentary on Zemeckisí career to date. The film is also supported by a very interesting commentary track. Here the director points out some of the elaborate filming techniques he employed, many of which will perhaps only otherwise register subliminally. The UK version lacks the Region 1 discís outstanding DTS audio mix, however, so potential customers who have the capability are advised to get the American disc, but not without letting Fox know that dropping the format from their UK releases is unacceptable. On the other hand, fans with a yearning for subtitles in Icelandic, Hebrew, Norwegian and seven other languages will doubtless be thrilled. Watch out for rogue copies of Fox's rental release, which doesn't contain any supplements.

 

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