A divisive supernatural thriller with unusual origins continues to spark debate 22 years later

via 20th Century Fox

Although it ranked as one of the top 10 grossing releases of 2000 after grossing $291 million at the box office, time hasn’t really softened many people’s views on what’s underneath.

These days, the supernatural thriller can be found with a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 47 percent, with a slightly higher (but still not great) user rating at 58 percent. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the film itself has nothing to do with what played out on screen, but how it was staged behind the camera.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis what’s underneath marked a surprising change of pace for a filmmaker best known for his wide-ranging family hits, including the Return to the future trilogy, Forrest GumpY romancing the stone. Even more curious, the production only happened because Zemeckis and his team were waiting for Tom Hanks to drop the necessary weight to DiscardThe island sequences are post-crash, while the script was written by none other than Marvel Cinematic Universe veteran Clark Gregg.

22 years later, and revisiting what’s underneath on Reddit it’s still generating debate and discussion, with just as many commenters praising the wacky genre flick for its atmosphere as those calling it drab, boring, and uninteresting.

what-is-underneath
via 20th Century Fox

However, Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer are an excellent pair of leads, but it’s clear that we may never come to a consensus when it comes to what’s underneath. Either way, it’s fascinating to know how it all came together, especially when it was basically a way for Zemeckis to keep his team busy while Hanks shed the excess weight for another project entirely.


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