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Giving Up the Ghost

The only thing deader than the haunted spirit in What Lies Beneath is the movie itself

In many ways, What Lies Beneath isn't even a ghost story or a thriller, but just a tale of a relationship gone sour, albeit one with nasty consequences. Considering Claire's limp-wristed approach to her own life, it's pretty hard to sympathize with her as the heroine of the piece, and the lurid stuff between Norman and his fling might as well be called Banal Attraction. So why did this movie get made at all? Good question, and perhaps the only answer is the good old American fear of the libido, and the devastating shame that attends it. Somebody is bound to get a kick out of these privileged people destroying each other, but the best thrillers offer us our own hearts, souls and bodies in contorted reflection. Unfortunately, this mirror is totally fogged over.

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