Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
Plot: A young nurse is forced to work during the British miners’ strike blackout across England. She soon realises that a terrifying secret hidden within the bowels of the hospital is fighting to claw its way out into the light of truth.
Background: The film is set in 1970s Britain at a time when the conservative government sought to implement measures in order to counteract the coal miners’ strike. The country shut off most of its power during the latter part of the night between 1973 to 1974.
Review: A young nurse named Val (Rose Williams) starts her training on a day where the hospital staff are prepping for a blackout. Already not a fan of the dark due to a traumatic event she suffered while living at a Catholic Girls’ home in her youth, Val has the unlucky task of the night shift during the blackout.
In this unnerving horror, Corrina Faith’s directorial debut hits all the right tones even before the lights go out. However, it is made abundantly clear from the start that The Power is also a metaphor for the abuse of power by people that hold a particular level of authority. For example, Val is admonished by the Matron (Diveen Henry) for speaking to a doctor. It is apparently against hospital policy for nurses to address or speak to the doctor since they are above her station. It is glaring throughout the film that all of the doctors are men.
The location chosen is perfect because a hospital without light and a skeleton staff more than sets the ideal atmosphere for creepy stuff to happen. Together with the lingering shots down long, dark corridors and a mysterious burning smell that seems to follow Val everywhere she goes, the young naïve nurse is an easy target. The director doesn’t waste a lot of time with cliché jump scares but focuses on the lack of light inside a room with an open door where anything can be lurking within and lying in wait for a victim. This creates a tense atmosphere of not knowing what’s coming next.
Actress Rose Williams (Reign, Sanditon) gives a stellar performance as her character Val slowly transforms during her experiences over the course of the night. There is one particular scene that seemed to take its inspiration directly from The Exorcist film where the actress has to contort her body for a particularly intense possession scene.
The film takes on a bit of a feminist atmosphere when Val has to gather her strength to protect a 13-year-old Indian girl when history is about to repeat itself. It turns into a deep metaphor for women needing to stand up and protect each other, especially from those who under the guise of power want to take advantage of a young woman or girl.
The Power is not only a horror movie that successfully manages to create an intensely creepy atmosphere without all the usual horror clichés but also sends a powerful and inspiring message to young girls and women.
Dark Alice’s Score: 7 out of 10
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook where you’ll get my reviews hot off the press. You can also find me on Instagram as alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For my extended bio you can click here.