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The Presence (2010)

Mira Sorvino , Shane West , Tom Provost  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mira Sorvino, Shane West, Justin Kirk
  • Directors: Tom Provost
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2011
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005DCJ2RW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,747 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The presence referred to in the title of this wonderfully moody and atmospheric little ghost story makes itself known right away. He is indeed a ghost. This brooding, pallid specter (Shane West) sits, stands, peers out the window, and provides an all-around haunting of a rustic, beautifully preserved cabin in the dreary wilds of Oregon. When a human woman (Mira Sorvino) shows up for an extended stay, he keeps a close watch on her too, and The Presence plays a beguiling game of mystery storytelling without any dialogue for almost 20 minutes. Writer-director Tom Provost reveals very little about the ghost--who he was, what he wants, why he's such a vigilant sentinel--and only a little bit more about the woman (none of the characters, human or unearthly, are identified with names). The ambiguity plays well for a while and exposition is kept to a minimum throughout, even after the woman's boyfriend (Justin Kirk) pays a surprise visit and sticks around for several days. There's another presence that turns up (Tony Curran) midway through, and though presence A keeps resolutely mum, the new one has a lot to say to both his ghostly colleague and the woman. To the woman it whispers messages of evil, and psycho-inducing hatred that bends her mind and ultimately poisons her relationship with the boyfriend. To the other ghost it speaks plainly and almost affectionately about the "life" it could lead if it would do what is necessary to be set free from the eternity of staying remote and alone only to haunt the neat, cozy cabin. The humans can't see these phantoms, but they both experience their presence, albeit in different ways. Towards the end there's a rather lengthy bit of explanation unleashed in a torrent of rage by the woman, and it feels somewhat out of place in a story where the less-is-more ethos is its best attribute. In fact, such dialogue as there is all sounds rather clunky and unnatural. The best things about The Presence are its gorgeously drab cinematography and its languorous yet deliberate pacing that notches up the tension without the need for "boo!"s or splatter violence. There are a few scary parts executed with the same measured intent, but mostly this ghost story strives to great effect for spooky ambiance. In the movie's concluding scenes a third presence is introduced (Deobia Oparei) that seems to have ultimate authority over human and spiritual realms alike. The final shot isn't exactly a twist, but it's a subtle and creepily effective ending that ingeniously captures the restrained mood of The Presence. Disc extras include commentary from Provost, a run-of-the-mill making-of featurette, and an interesting storyboard sequence backed by remarks from Provost and editor Cecily Rhett. --Ted Fry

Product Description

In this darkly romantic ghost story, a woman travels to an isolated cabin where she is stalked by an apparition who inhabits her space as his own. With the unexpected arrival of the woman’s boyfriend, the dark spirit’s haunting grows obsessive. Soon the woman begins to exhibit weirdly irrational behavior as the thin line between sanity and possession begins to unravel. Is she battling her inner demons, or is a much darker presence threatening them all?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Authentic Ghost Story! September 2, 2011
I have to say, the thing I loved most about THE PRESENCE was that it did not resort to ridiculous, trite gimmicks and devices to scare and/or trick you. I've seen the trailer and it sadly does not capture what is most special about this film: it's artistry. Don't get me wrong, it's not artsy fartsy; however, it is made by someone who clearly loves cinema and respects it as art and not cheap entertainment.

For instance, the camera rarely comes off the tripod, rather than shake like crazy, which has become so boring. And rather than a bunch of unknown 20 year-olds stuck in a cabin, this film boasts top-notch performances from top talent in their 30s! You want blood? This film isn't for you. It tastefully and respectfully scares you without gore. And, believe it or not, there is a really good, solid love story amidst the fright!

Do you want to see something different, without stupid antics and cheap tricks? Watch THE PRESENCE...
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie and beautiful suspense October 4, 2011
By Mycie14
A movie both eerie and beautiful. With a haunting score by Conrad Pope to set the mood, the film pulls you in, lulling you into the quiet isolation of a cabin in the woods. The suspense slowly builds revealing the characters to be real people with real issues, not just cardboard cutouts whose only purpose is to be scared for the viewers. The ending is surprising and thought-provoking. This film is not your average scary movie. I definitely recommend it.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ghost story - startling & powerful September 2, 2011
No spoilers here: I had the opportunity to watch this film a couple of months ago, and I honestly didn't know what to expect. In short, I loved it. The scenery is amazing, the acting is extremely powerful, and I was surprised by some of the twists and turns the movie takes. I don't really love ghost stories, although I do appreciate suspense. It definitely exceeded my expectations, and I will definitely watch it again.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise November 8, 2011
By Jewel
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you love a good scary story but are sick of blood and guts then this may be for you. It was suggested to me through a tweet (yes,sometimes that actually works). It was a little hard to find but I'm glad I did. It is creepy good and the music really sets the off the scenes. It's hard to find a realistic ghost story. That is one where you could actually imagine that it could really happen. This one fits the bill. The actors portray a great array of emotions that suck you in. The ghost (Shane West) uses his facial expression in lieu of words. You would be surprised how well he uses it and how effective it can be! I won't give away any more. The best part is that you actually have to think to figure out what is going on, it's not a given. Simply put if you like a real ghost story you will like this but it can haunt you afterward. No pun intended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the PERFECT ghost story.. October 9, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie masterfully blends, suspense, drama, and an element of fear that builds as the mystery unfolds. Just when you think you know what is going to happen and who all the players are, the movie takes off like a roller coaster with twists, turns, and new surprises that change everything. It is a beautiful film rich with sights and sounds that enhance the movie even more. Each actor does an amazing job developing their character, many times through expressions and actions alone without words. The director has made the movie very entertaining while at the same time wove a deeper meaning throughout it in the style of C.S. Lewis. This movie will leave you thinking about it and the meaning of things in life long after it's over. I have watched it twice and plan on sharing it with all my friends and family. Finally we have a classy and intelligent ghost story for the whole family. It's a must see!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Presence July 13, 2013
It's a curious thing at first, the fact that writer/director Tom Provost's directorial debut (his second filmed screenplay) starts with over 15 minutes of silence before anyone says a word. But looking back, that silence sets the tone of the movie and establishes the situation, informing the character of "the woman", played by Mira Sorvino.

The woman has come to her grandparents' cabin on a remote island to work. I'm not sure what her work is, but she spends a lot of time, it looks like, copying things out of a book. She spends her days and nights alone, in silence, coming here for the peace and quiet. There's no electricity on the island, her bathroom is an outhouse. The cabin is very nice, and incredibly cozy. I would love to spend a week there. It rains a lot, and it's chilly enough overall that she can keep a few fresh chickens in the shed out back and they'll be just fine. She seems to have a pretty sweet setup going on.

There is, however, the ghost that stands silently by and watches everything she does. Shane West gives just about the most wooden performance he's ever given in his life, but this time I think it's on purpose, as his character never utters a word, rarely shows an emotional connection, but he does a boat load of acting with his eyes, and while I think he overplayed it a few times, for the most part, I liked his character.

Then the woman's boyfriend, the man (no, they don't have names), shows up. They're obviously in love but you can tell immediately she doesn't welcome the company. She doesn't tell him to leave, and puts on a show of being happy he's there, but it's pretty obvious she came here for a reason, and company wasn't it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars This is cool
A ghost story. Ooops, spoilers. Our heroine goes to an isolated cabin her grandfather bought for her grandmother. Our friend goes to get away from an unexplained problem. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ronald Rossini
1.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
This movie was hilarious. I don't know what is supposed to be happening, but the gay ghost encounter had me in tears. Two thumbs down.
Published 3 months ago by You or mE
1.0 out of 5 stars Agonizingly slow, inane and pointless
This movie is about what not to do when making a movie. The plot is mindless. The acting is phoned in, but that might be due in part to the script, which was written by a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bartholomew Breva
1.0 out of 5 stars BAD
The outhouse scenes were the best part of the movie. Too bad every time she had to pee, a poor bird had to die. One question...What were they smoking when they wrote those scenes?
Published 3 months ago by Sher
1.0 out of 5 stars The trailer says it all.
The more times you fade to black in a trailer and use percussive music to overdramatically underscore every little moment, the more a movie will suck. Read more
Published 4 months ago by FaveDave
5.0 out of 5 stars Un-forced and Intelligent filmmaking...
In a genre that's typically unintelligent and forced, 'The Presence' is refreshingly minimal, precise and Hitchcock-ian, and keeps you relatively on edge trying to figure out... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gregor Collins
1.0 out of 5 stars Different, unique and not good.
Give them credit for making something different from the homogenized horror/suspense films that are the norm these days, and I respect the artistic effort, but this was not... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Carl Banks
1.0 out of 5 stars Possible worst of the decade
If you've ever seen a ghost story before, you won't know whether to be bored or disappointed. The only winner here his the score, and that manages to lose because it seems built... Read more
Published 9 months ago by RL
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I love this film. It is the kind of film which works like HP Lovecraft's stories. The tension is built up by atmosphere and it is character-driven. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Duane R. Wirdel
2.0 out of 5 stars A real bland movie
It's fatuous, there's a plot to this, but there's no real thrill in this movie, it's a dud when it comes to that element of surprise to be horrified.
Published 10 months ago by JWorld
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