What Lies Beneath
I have the same reaction to watching Michelle Pfeiffer's movies as I do to eating veal. You know that it's going to taste good if you indulge yourself, but you get this picture in your head of something being starved to death to improve its appeal and suddenly it doesn't seem like such a good thing anymore.
The trailers to "What Lies Beneath" make it look like "The Sixth Sense" without the annoying kid. I don't like to be tricked. I don't like to go to a restaurant, order soup, and then be served boar's head on a stick. Frankly, it takes me a long time to prepare myself to sit down in a movie theater and wallow through a couple hours of otherworldly hocus-pocus. Granted, many people are so fascinated with ghosts that every filmmaker in the universe has to figure a way to involve apparitions in the plot -- but it should be noted that those people are idiots. If people suddenly started to wipe their asses on the backs of brichons frisés, would that be the next big trend in film? One can only hope.
What director Robert Zemeckis doesn't quite understand is that the visualization of the ghost is not necessary to the development of the story. Claire Spencer (Pfeiffer) sees a ghost in the house. Naturally, her husband, Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford), thinks she's cuckoo. Zemeckis, digital crackhead that he is, takes in a long hit of special effects so that the audience can see the ghost in living color, which automatically forces us to believe Claire. Once she starts making accusations and investigates the ghosts identity, we have no choice but to believe something is up.
This whole setup is antithetical to the development of the film's suspense. What the audience needed was to doubt Claire. That way, the second half of the movie wouldn't have been a foregone conclusion. But because "The Sixth Sense" made it cool to see ghosts, Claire just has to see the ghost. It just goes to show how modern filmmakers value special effects and precious little else.
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