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This reminds me of Midnight Lace
on 30 November 2008
"Midnight Lace" was a little known Doris Day thriller where an American woman living in London was menaced by a threatening voice which came out of the London fog. Her greatest difficulty was getting people to believe that the threats were not something she had imagined.
In that sense, "What lies beneath" is very similar. It is clear that housewife Claire Spencer, Michelle Pfeiffer, is struggling to cope with her life. Still coming to terms with her only daughter leaving home, Claire had given up her own career to marry Dr Norman Spencer, Harrison Ford, and now found herself playing distinctly second fiddle to his.
Rattling about in a house far too large for her, and with only herself to think about, Claire becomes increasingly paranoid as mysterious things start to occur. The front door refuses to stay shut, the bath seems to run itself, and the family dog seems terrified of something and briefly disappears.
Furthermore, Claire becomes aware that her neighbour Mary is terrified of her husband. When Mary too disappears, Claire is convinced the husband has murdered her. Aware too that her own house is reputed to be haunted, Claire becomes equally convinced that the image of the young girl she has started to see is Mary's ghost.
Things come to a head when Claire publicly accuses Mary's husband of murdering her, and of course at that moment Mary reappears safe and sound!
Hoist by her own petard, Claire is forced to quickly backtrack. She already relies very heavily on the support of her psychiatrist and is running out of people who don't believe she is imagining it all.
She begins to focus her attention on Madison Elizabeth Frank, a young girl who disappeared a year earlier. This girl becomes the new ghost in Claire's mind. The more she finds out about this girl the more the trail leads back to husband Norman, who eventually admits she was his mistress.
This revelation effectively kills their marriage as Claire just cannot let the matter rest in her head.
If you are at all familiar with Midnight Lace it won't be too difficult to see where the film ultimately leads. I made a rough guess about this about an hour into the film and it turned out to be pretty accurate.
I had to smile when I read in an earlier review about the 5 girls who refused to sleep alone after watching this film. I watched this with my mother and the hardest job I had was keeping her awake!