Tuesday, June 7, 2022

#2,765. The Power (2021) - 2021 Horror Movies


A place people die in should never be allowed to get that dark”.

Writer / director Corrina Faith’s 2021 horror film The Power weaves a tale of the supernatural, but its otherworldly thrills are far from original. And like most ghost stories, there’s a central mystery, one that I was able to figure out well before the big reveal.

Yet I am happy I saw it, and I would ultimately recommend you do the same, because in the case of The Power, its message alone is potent enough to carry the movie to a whole other level.

January, 1974. East London. Valerie (Rose Williams), a nurse in training, is assigned to work the night shift at a local hospital. Due to a power shortage, the government has ordered that all electrical power be turned off at night, meaning Valerie and her fellow nurses, including Comfort (Gbemisola Ikumelo), Terry (Nuala McGowan), and Babs (Emma Rigby), will be forced to perform their duties by candlelight.

It’s during her first evening on the job that Valerie is tormented by an unknown entity, one that seems to take control of her body, forcing her to act out and putting both she and young patient Saba (Shakira Rahman) in harm’s way. What does this spirit want, and why has it chosen Valerie?

Rose Williams delivers a stunning performance as Valerie, a meek, reserved nurse whose desire to help others masks a dark secret from her past, and the supporting cast is also quite good, especially Ikumelo as the strong-willed Comfort and Diveen Henry as Matron, the strict disciplinarian in charge of the nursing staff whose authority is inadvertently undermined by Valerie (the young nurse strikes up a friendship with Dr. Franklyn, played by Charlie Carrick, despite orders from Matron that the doctors and nurses are not to fraternize in any way). And while the supernatural scares are undoubtedly routine (whispers in the dark that seemingly come from every direction; candles blowing out on their own; doors creaking; etc), director Faith presents them in such a way that they still manage to get our collective pulses pounding (Valerie’s first encounter with the entity is particularly chilling).

As for the film’s central mystery - the identity of the ghostly menace and the reason it has chosen Valerie – my guess is you will figure both out as quickly as I did (if not quicker), yet knowing the answers will not detract from the film’s powerful themes of marginalization and abuse. Without going too deeply into it (I don’t want to spoil anything), by the time the end credits roll, you will realize, as I did, that the title The Power was referring to much more than a simple electrical shortage.
Rating: 7 out of 10

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