First thing you need to know; THIS IS NOT A HORROR FILM. If you have a low boredom threshold don`t bother with this; you will not appreciate it for what it is and you will likely judge it by standards that are not applicable to it.
It is a pleasure to discover a film as sophisticated, thought-provoking and thoroughly well-crafted as this, even from independent film makers; this has been made by people who know the value of a lingering camera shot, effective use of sound, the integration of music and the merit of an evocative setting. Writer/director Tom Provost has delivered an unusual, subtly gripping, genre-twisting story that introduces the viewer into the secret from the outset, then creates tension and unease as the plot unfolds around the central characters, an unnamed woman and her boyfriend.
With the vast, empty Oregon landscape as a background and the remote, unsettling location of a cabin apparently only accessible by water, Mia Sorvino and the rest of the cast put in wonderfully measured performances; Tony Curran, especially, makes Mephistopheles look like a reasonable bloke.
I have no wish to give any of the story away - you'll have to watch this film and discover its meanings and depths for yourself.
"The Presence" deserves to be bracketed with classics like "The Haunting", "The Others" or "The Sixth Sense" - even realised on a very small budget, it is still a beautiful, polished piece of cinema.
The film is presented in a widescreen (2.35:1) format; there are no subtitles.
My copy is the 4 Digital Media release with the blue monochrome artwork - despite listing various extras including a "making of" documentary and director's commentary, there are no extras on the disc at all, not even a trailer; rather a shame for such an intriguing, original work. This is one occasion when such extras would have been welcome.
I urge you to seek this out if you enjoy an intelligent, provocative ghost story; it probably isn't to everyone's taste - it has drawn mixed reviews elsewhere - most likely due to misplaced expectations; give it the time it needs, chances are you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
And do shop around for it - the 4DM release can be found for a reasonable price.