The Power is a supernatural horror movie written and directed by Corinna Faith and starring Rose Williams, Emma Rigby, Shakira Rahman, Charlie Carrick and Diveen Henry.
Beginning with such promise, thanks to the story set-up, The Power inevitably falls into the pitfalls of routine and unexciting supernatural events. Culminating in a finale that just doesn’t feel earned.
Set in London during the 1970s, the ongoing miners’ strike is forcing the city to conserve power. Homes, shops, and even hospitals have no choice but to shut the power off at certain times. One such hospital, the East London Royal Infirmary, shuts its power off at night and utilises a skeleton staff to care for the patients they have.
What a time for trainee nurse Val (Rose Williams) to start her first shift.
A meek but kind and caring girl, she has been stepped on throughout her life, but wants to give back to the community through nursing. Having grown up in an orphanage, she finds solace in helping others, and hopes to move on from some dark events in her childhood.
This trauma makes her the prime target for a supernatural entity that haunts the halls of the hospital. When the lights go out, it wants to illuminate the darkness and reveal the dark truth of this hospital and its staff.
The blend of historical detail, location, and real-world trauma is a major positive of The Power. That, and the extremely likable Val, is a major reason as to why The Power is initially quite compelling. As we, alongside the lead, await the night, the tension is ramped up. Not, because we or Val are aware of any supernatural goings-on yet, but rather what the darkness means for sending the imagination spiralling.
So, it is such a shame that The Power descends into blasé ghostly-goings-on, with a twist that is both obvious and uninspired. Even when all that starts off, Val is kept front and centre as the movie moves towards revealing her own personal trauma. The issue there is that it carries very little weight and makes her feel like nothing more than a poster child for orphanage abuse.
There’s no substance to her experience because it is dropped on us in a haphazard way and coming after a series of extreme supernatural events. You’ll have sympathy for her because she is likable, but it doesn’t deepen the connection.
The Power’s strongest point is its initial half an hour. Once the spooky shenanigans start, the atmosphere it built dissipates in favour of jump scares. Your imagination isn’t left to run wild, it’s painted over with a burgeoning sense of ‘seen it all before’.
The Power (2021)
The Final Score - 5.5/10