Some of the best horrors thrive on their simplicity. For example, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is scary because it really just boils down to a mad bloke in the middle of nowhere chasing you with a power tool. See? Scary. Corinna Faith’s The Power’s elevator pitch is certainly very simple, too – imagine having to spend the night in a creepy old hospital in the 1970s, pretty much by yourself, with no electricity. With long, dark hallways and whispers in the shadows, The Power’s setting is certainly ripe for terror. But what this film does with its setting elevates it to being one of the best horrors of the last 12 months.
The film follows trainee nurse Val (Sanditon’s Rose Williams) as she is thrown in at the deep end with her first shift, having to work through the long, dark night. With a skeleton staff including the bitchy Babs (Emma Rigby) and sweet Comfort (Gbemisola Ikumelo) for company, Val soon learns there is something bad happening within these walls and as the night grows darker, so does her psyche. With genuine suspense and a horrifying mystery, The Power is a compelling and frightening watch at its brisk 92 minutes.
In the vein of similar horrors such as Saint Maud and Relic, The Power boasts a complex and layered story that offers much substance behind its jump scares. The narrative’s twists and turns are genuinely disturbing and back up the harrowing visuals and chilling build-up, while the film’s final act packs a powerful #MeToo punch that feels truly impactful and not crowbarred in – dialogue toward the end of the film totally changes the film’s title’s meaning, and it is expertly done.
Writer/director Corinna Faith has crafted an incredibly timely and hard-hitting horror that works on many levels – viewers looking for a quick scare will certainly be pleased with the film’s more frightening moments, while those looking for a little more than things going bump in the night will be chuffed too. The Power is a disturbing tale that lingers in the mind long after the credits have rolled, telling a story that is all too timely even 50 years after the film is set.
THE POWER is available on digital, DVD and Blu-ray from 27 September 2021