The Presence

Released: 2014
Director: Daniele Grieco
Music by: Stefan Mohr
Cast: Liv Lisa Fries, Matthias Dietrich, Henning Nöhren
Genre: Horror
Film Rating: 15
Review Rating: 2/5


When it comes to horror films, I tend to go back to the ’80s or stick with Tartan Asia Extreme, but when I saw there was an independent ‘found footage’ German film that had been released I thought I’d give it a go.

The Presence [Die Präsenz] starts with a boyfriend who is taking his girlfriend on a romantic getaway, but to her surprise he also invited his best friend and takes them to an abandoned haunted castle instead, to see how long they could stay there. Apparently, he knew the caretaker, who gave him the keys.

On arrival, they naturally look around and find what appears to be a dungeon, where legend has it previous owner Count Marian ‘bricked-in’ his wife and child after she allegedly climbed to the top of a tower and threw her children out a window before hanging herself.

Knowing this information, they decide to film their stay and leave the camera filming throughout the night, this is when bad things start to happen to girlfriend ‘Rebecca’.

At first, the film starts off with a creepy and chilling vibe but you can’t help compare it to ‘Paranormal Activity’, but they seem to have gotten their scare tactics from ‘The Haunting’. With the loud sounds and banging on the doors, it was nothing I hadn’t seen before. The cinematography was shot well, you can believe it was real footage, but the effects felt like the videos you see on YouTube when someone posts ‘Ghost captured on film’.

Most things seem to be happening to Rebecca, who begs her boyfriend to leave, but he just ignores her and carries on looking to capture more paranormal happenings with his best friend. Things get bad for Rebecca, who sleepwalks throughout the night and often runs into the woods, and there’s even one night where she has an ‘Exorcist’ moment as she is flung up and down on the bed and another when she is standing there expressionless and pisses herself.

There was no real back story, the events just repeated themselves. There were some cool effects involving a mirror, which we’ve all seen before in films, like when you turn around but the reflection is still looking back at you.

Also, seeing as they look back at the footage each night & nothing happens during the day, why didn’t they stay awake at night? Why weren’t we told what happened in more detail? Yes, the same things happened to them as the back story was told, as one was burnt alive (assuming that’s what she did to her child) and the other guy jumped from the tower and the girlfriend was found still wandering around the forest. The story was weak, effects were predictable and repetitive & they all end up dead with the camcorder laying on the floor, predictable.

Would I recommend this film? Only if you’re bored or have friends over and want to watch something creepy to scare yourselves, then yes I would. But it’s just a ‘time filler’ movie and not one I would watch again.

Review by Jo Blackened