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What Lies Beneath



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: PG-13

A happily married empty-nester tries to uncover the identity of a female apparition who begins haunting her home. With Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Amber Valletta, Diana Scarwid, Dan Block, J.C. Brandy, Mark Patrick Costello, Wendy Crewson, Tom Dahlgren, Joe Morton, Miranda Otto, James Remar, Rachel Singer and Katharine Towne. [1:50]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - Some sexual innuendo and a few kisses; in one scene a husband nuzzles his wife's neck and cheek. A woman spreads her legs suggestively in front of her husband (her skirt hangs between her bare legs), licks his chin, kisses him so passionately she bites his lip, pushes him onto a desk, rips open his shirt, unbuckles his belt, kisses him roughly again, and then kisses down his chest before he pushes her off. A woman wearing a cleavage-revealing nightgown gets into bed with her shirtless husband; they talk, she caresses his chest, they kiss passionately, they hear a female neighbor moaning (she's obviously having intercourse), and then they presumably have intercourse (the scene ends before we see anything). Twice, we see a woman's bare shoulders, arms and upper chest (her breasts aren't visible) when she's in a bath tub; also, we see a shirtless man and a woman wearing a nightgown.

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - Someone breaks through a truck's window and grabs the driver's neck, then the driver elbows the person, a boat's mast breaks through the windows and nearly hits both people, and the truck swerves and eventually drives into a lake; both people are trapped in the truck's cab, one tries to hold the other under water, one is grabbed and held under water by a very decomposed corpse that comes back to life (it then decomposes again and floats to the bottom of the lake), one eventually escapes and one is seen floating under water, obviously dead. A person briefly transforms into a gray, corpse-like apparition, causing another person to fall backwards and land head-first onto the side of a sink (we glimpse a little blood on the floor next to the person's head, and later see the person's bloody hands as they reach toward another person before falling limp). A person grabs another from behind and puts a liquid-doused cloth over the person's mouth, causing the person to become paralyzed (the person does manage to elbow the other, break free, and crawl across a floor before becoming completely paralyzed). The paralyzed person is then placed in a bath tub that eventually fills with water (there are some tense moments when the person's face is completely submerged before the water begins draining). It's implied that a man lying in a bath tub has been electrocuted by a hair dryer (he eventually regains consciousness). A woman dives and is pulled into a lake and reaches the bottom before a man pulls her back up to the surface. A man pushes a woman who's lying on top of him, causing her to fly backwards and hit her head on the floor (she isn't hurt). A woman pushes a man and yells at him, a woman slaps at a man and they yell at each other, and we see but don't hear a couple who appear to be yelling at each other and seem ready to become physically abusive. A man playfully grabs a woman's neck (it's played for laughs). Someone puts what could be a plastic-covered body in a car trunk; also, a corpse's gray face is visible under water for a few seconds. Several jump scenes: a woman screams when she touches an electrical outlet that sparks, a stereo turns on loudly, a person comes up behind another, a dog pushes open a door, and a woman sees another woman's reflection in a water-filled bath tub. A woman gets a small, slightly bloody scratch on her arm from a thorn and a woman steps on a shard of glass and then pulls it out of her foot (no blood is visible). We see blood on a floor, wall and bath tub; a few times we see what looks like a drop of dried blood on a shoe; and we see a body lying on a floor with a very bloody face and bloody hands.

PROFANITY 5 - One F-word, an anatomical reference, a couple of scatological references, a few mild obscenities, and an insult. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Empty-nesters, apparitions, communication with the dead, infidelity, murder, therapy, deception, betrayal.

MESSAGE - The dead can communicate with and even assist the living. Some people will stop at nothing to ensure their success.

Special Keywords: S4 - V6 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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