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Soundtrack review: What lies beneath (Alan Silvestri – 2000)

Alan Silvestri month Composer of the month

Soundtrack review: What lies beneath (Alan Silvestri – 2000)


“What lies beneath” is another Robert Zemekis movie I know and love. Michelle Pfeiffer played a great part, while Harrison Ford surprised me with him only (to date) villain role. It is a creepy and engaging supernatural horror.

Alan Silvestri wrote the score for his favorite director, and the “Main titles” get my attention. Smart spooky, it manages to make a point in a little over a minute. It is positively scary and I can almost see the appearance from the bottom of the lake. The creepiness slowly takes me over from the inside and I feel chills by the time the second cue starts.

I can’t put my finger on why the score works, but with the movie images in mind, I feel immersed in it. I’m scared when I hear a cue like “You know”, it raises the hair on the back of my neck. It creeps behind me like an uncomfortable mist and then it starts stabbing at me. I have to look behind me when I listen to this cue.

The silences in this score are as scary as the noises. There’s always an unfelt menacing presence in the music, and the ghost theme is handled superbly by Silvestri. You cannot put your finger on it, but you know it’s there. The suspense is at its peak for the duration of the score and is more effective to me than many other horror scores I’ve heard. “Forbidden fruit” is one of the best atmospheric horror tracks I’ve heard. I’m there, by the lake, afraid and with an ice cold claw gripping my heart.

In less than 30 minutes, “What lies beneath” manages to scare the hell out of me. I’m grateful when a melodic cue like “I opened the door” gives me a break. I want to grab its hand and get out of there. Overall, this is one intelligent, majestic and effective horror score. I’m glad I have a bootleg of the complete score, I am certainly going to listen to it for even more frights and excitement.

Cue rating: 84 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 32

Album excellence: 87%


Main Title

You Know

Forbidden Fruit

I Opened The Door

The Getaway


End Credits


Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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