Monday, April 5, 2021

The Power Review: An Atmospheric Horror Film With A Chilling Message

Rose Williams	...	Val Emma Rigby	Emma Rigby	...	Babs Charlie Carrick	Charlie Carrick	...	Doctor Franklin Clara Read	Clara Read	...	Gail Paul Antony-Barber	Paul Antony-Barber	...	The Chief Gbemisola Ikumelo	Gbemisola Ikumelo	...	Comfort Diveen Henry	Diveen Henry	...	Matron Robert Goodman	Robert Goodman	...	The Janitor Marley Chesham	Marley Chesham	...	Young Val Nuala McGowan	Nuala McGowan	...	Terry Shakira Rahman	Shakira Rahman	...	Saba Joe Haddow	Joe Haddow	...	DJ Mike Maria Major	Maria Major	...	Woman in stirrups

Release date: April 8, 2021
Running time: 92 minutes
Starring:  Rose Williams, Shakira Rahman, Charlie Carrick, Diveen Henry, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Nuala McGowan, Emma Rigby, Theo Barklem-Biggs
Written and Directed By: Corinna Faith

London, 1974. As Britain prepares for electrical blackouts to sweep across the country, trainee nurse Val (Rose Williams) arrives for her first day at the crumbling East London Royal Infirmary. With most of the patients and staff evacuated to another hospital, Val is forced to work the night shift, finding herself in a dark, near empty building. Within these walls lies a deadly secret, forcing Val to face both her own traumatic past and deepest fears in order to confront the malevolent force that’s intent on destroying everything around her.

Will Clarke	...	executive producer Lizzie Francke	...	executive producer Tom Harberd	...	associate producer Phil Hunt	...	executive producer Andy Mayson	...	executive producer Compton Ross	...	executive producer Elliot Ross	...	associate producer Fenella Ross	...	associate producer Mike Runagall	...	executive producer Rob Watson	...	producer Matthew James Wilkinson	...	producer Ross Williams	...	co-producer
First and foremost, The Power is a scary movie to watch.  The film uses its fantastic environment to paint an unsettling horror picture.  The setting naturally causes blackouts, leading to little occurrances in the shadows just outside your vision.  It also lends itself to a plethora of noises and creaks as the natural sounds of the old building lead to plenty of unease during the film.  The atmosphere perfectly sets the horror tone without having to work too hard.  And the film also masterfully uses this atmosphere to keep you on edge; it smartly takes a while to progress to the supernatural scares.  The film doesn't need to rely on supernatural or unsettling aspects because the setting itself does that for you. This gives you plenty of time to get acquainted to the characters and their predicament before then causing more unsettling things to occur. 

And to top it all off, the cast in this film is perfect.  Rose Williams is amazing as nurse Val, having to transform both physically and emotionally during this movie.  She is called on to do so much and go through both mental and physical contortions, and this performance contributes to much of what makes this movie so scary.  Shakira Rahman as the young Saba also does a great job, adding plenty of mystery and emotion to this film.  And Carrick is instantly likable as Doctor Franklin, who provides a sympathetic ear to Val early on.  And I loved how these characters made this world seem lived in, which helps contribute to the overall setting of the film.  From their old-style outfits, to their mannerisms and views on life, these characters make The Power come to life.  

And Overall, The Power is a perfect example of horror being used for more than a simple scare.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good scary horror film, but The Power has so much more than that.  It confronts some very dark subject matter in a way that showcases just how unsettling the real world can be.  Even the title shows that there is so much more going on, as The Power focuses on both the main cause of the repeated darkness but also the underlying power dynamics taking place at the hospital.  The film is a great showcase for some disturbing things that occurred in the past, and uses horror to connect with and educate viewers on these real life horrors. 

The Power's atmospheric setting, perfectly realized characters, and chilling message show how this genre can be used to highlight some very real life horrors.

Watch it.

Directed by  Corinna Faith	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Corinna Faith  Shudder Horror Scary Historical History

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The Power is available to stream on Shudder starting April 8, 2021. 

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