Today's DVDs: The Presence and Hitchcock

The Presence

stars Mira Sorvino and Shane West, Tom Provost directed.

The moral to the story in The Presence is never date a girl who has her own live-in ghost. Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino stars as an unnamed woman who relocates to an isolated cabin in the woods to get a little alone time. Trouble is there's already a ghostly spirit inhabiting the cabin - a rather possessive ghostly spirit, we should point out. When the woman's boyfriend unexpectedly shows up, the spirit is none too happy. A change comes over the woman; she becomes angry and abusive, but the boyfriend's not sure if she's finally releasing some pent up feelings or if she's being manipulated by the spirit.

Tom Provost makes his directorial debut with The Presence and it seems he went for quietly frightening rather than scream-out-loud scary, which means a much bigger payoff for audiences. It's hard to label this a horror movie, because there's a noticeable lack of gore and guts, but that's what makes The Presence all the more chilling.


stars Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles and Janet Leigh.

Halloween's coming up and we're about to be inundated with a barrage of scary and not-so-scary horror films. Instead of watching Jason Kills a Leprechaun, Part 17, why not get away from the blood squirts and rotting flesh flicks and sit down with some of the masterworks in the chills and thrills genre? Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection includes five of his legendary films. There's Rear Window (Grace Kelly and James Stewart), Psycho (Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins), Vertigo (Kim Novak and James Stewart), North by Northwest (Eva Marie Saint and Cary Grant) and The Birds (Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor). Doesn't matter what the subject matter, from neighborly murders to an eerie momma's boy, look-alike lovers to genteel spies to nature gone really, really wrong, Hitchcock's smooth style is unmistakeable.

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