ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to parents and grandparents

What Lies Beneath (2000), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 58
CAP Influence Density: 0.84
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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

If Scriptural references appear in the Summary / Commentary, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.


What Lies Beneath (PG-13) -- A "proper" PG-13 for a change.

After a string of R-13s, What Lies Beneath earned a CAP Final Score well inside the CAP scoring range for PG-13 movies. But remember, by the word of Jack Valenti (Pres, MPAA) himself, the PG-13 takes a slice off the top of what was the previous R classification.

After escorting their daughter Katlyn off to college, Claire Spencer (Michelle Pfeiffer), devoted and loving wife of scientist Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford) opens the show by seeing things. Things such as images of a woman who has been dead for (I think) a year, doors opening by themselves and pictures falling with no apparent cause. Even the family dog gets involved in the portrayal of the alleged supersensitive powers of the canine species. The good Dr. Spencer tries to shrug off his wife's paranormal experiences (for an ulterior reason) and ships her off to a shrink who suggests that Claire try a Ouija board to contact the dead who have been haunting their house. And she does. And she even sees words appear in the steam covered bathroom mirror. I am not too concerned about giving away any of this show because if you've seen the trailers and commercials, you've essentially seen the movie.

I am sorry but I am going to have to cut this one really short. As always, please see the Findings/Scoring section for the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

FINDINGS / SCORING: What Lies Beneath (2000) CAP Thermometers

NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • marital violence
  • face underwater
  • terror startles
  • suggestion of contemplating suicide
  • roughing up of a woman by a man
  • admission of murder
  • planning a murder cover-up
  • bloody injuries
  • attempted murder by drugging/drowning
  • defensive killing (of husband) - graphic and drawn out
  • several sights of a decayed body

    Impudence/Hate (I):
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • ten uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • snooping/spying

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • nude woman in tub, more than once (gender-specific areas not seen)
  • man and woman in bed together with sensuous touching (clothed)
  • love talk and motions in bed, sex talk and sounds (clothed/covered)
  • vulgar positioning to invite
  • licking kissing
  • story of and admission of adultery
  • ghosting of female anatomy through thin clothing

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • dinner wine
  • drinking
  • social drinking
  • drugging to control

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • decayed body coming to life
  • calling on paranormal forces to improve life
  • portrayal of paranormal forces and dead people being able to control the loving world
  • numerous paranormal forces manifesting in inanimate objects
  • imagery of possession
  • resuscitation of decayed body to normal
  • 14 uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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