Horror is such a powerful genre because it doesn't always have to be about things like zombies and vampires; a lot of the best horror is simply a reflection of reality, real world horror stories come to life. When a horror movie can tell a story that is powerful and truly messes with your mind, it hits so different than the cheesy gore films we've come to love. And every year, we get a handful of films that are so twisted and tell such a story that they stick with you long after the credits have rolled. Writer and director Corinna Faith's new film THE POWER is one of those movies that will haunt you; it will grip you at your throat and hold you until the very last moment. It is an absolutely necessary viewing for fans of the genre who seek out films that are a little different but don't veer too far off from the things we like about horror. With The Power, you'll get your haunting, you'll get your vengeful ghost, but with it, you'll get a lot more too: you'll get a story of a girl who was haunted by real monsters in her life, only her monsters were the people who were supposed to care for her. The Power is a chilling film that will leave you very uncomfortable and unsettled by the time it's done with you, making it a must-see film this October. For the girls in this movie, their fear of the dark is far from their worst nightmare.
Set in 1974, The Power tells the story of Val (Rose Williams), a young woman who grew up in an orphanage and worked her way up to becoming a nurse in a strictly run infirmary in London. It's her first day on the job, and she's told she's being made to work straight into the night, which normally wouldn't be a problem but on this particular night, as with many during this time, the city cuts the power to its population to conserve power, so the nation is plunged into darkness at night. As the darkness begins to mess with her head, it's not the only thing that's haunting her: she begins experiencing moments of what appears to be possession, where she's not entirely in control of her own body. And in these moments of possession, Val begins acting very aggressive towards her new coworkers without knowing why; and for good reason, the secrets that lay confined within the walls of that hospital would shake anyone to their core. And the victim of those secrets is finally back to get her revenge on the very people she should have been able to trust the most. What evil lives inside the dark corridors of the hospital, and what secrets were buried within those walls? Find out in... THE POWER!
Williams and Shakira Rahman who plays Saba - a thirteen year old patient at the hospital - are the shining stars of this film who bring the horror to life and who did an insanely awesome job in their roles. Their interactions with each other, their scenes when they are alone, and everything in between just nothing short of phenomenal. Come to think of it, pretty much everything in this movie was really well put together and excellently executed; from the unsettling music to the scenes by lantern light to the possession of the darling Val, The Power was beautifully put together and tells just a truly haunting story with an extra layer of paranormal that creates an intense hour and a half. The film takes a little bit to set up its story, but it isn't long before the action slowly begins to build and build until it unleashes fucking hell on the hospital and its workers who turned their backs on their patients. While the concept of this film isn't necessarily something we haven't seen before, it feels unique in its execution and its terror, making it feel like it's something fresh and honestly, it does such a great job at that that it doesn't even matter. The Power - when watched in the middle of the night like I did - has a tone it sets early on that lasts until the very end that I feel like many movies attempt to achieve but never really get there. And this movie gets there without hesitation or issue, adding to its excellence.
Truth is, The Power will not be for everyone; while it's got its fair share of possession scenes, you're not going to get The Conjuring or The Exorcist style scenes. Viewers will get more subtle - but more powerful - paranormal scenes that serve more of a purpose than to just keep you up at night. The contortions and movements all have a reason and when the film comes together to fully share its story, the intensity of the film instantly ramps up. The movie has two stories being told as it plays out, and the way the two stories intertwine is creative and awesome enough for me to justify saying that this film deserves both your time and money. If you're in the process now of putting together your movie list for October, it would be a shame to miss out on including The Power in yours because I honestly think most audiences would find something to love about it. It's uncomfortable and haunting - two things I love about horror movies and two things I love about this film. Check it out and remember: there are far worse things to fear than the dark.