“A place where people die should never be allowed to get so dark.” -Terry (Nuala McGowan)
We’re all afraid of the dark on some level, aren’t we? It all goes back to a universal fear: the fear of the unknown. The darkness is not quantifiable and it is impossible to know what is hidden in its corners and crevices. Corinna Faith took to the concept and took it to dizzying heights in a classic ghost story structure in the 2021 horror thread “The Power,” streaming on Shudder now.
The synopsis, by Shudder:
London, 1974. As Britain braces for blackouts across the country, trainee nurse Val arrives on her first day at the crumbling Royal Infirmary in East London. With most of the patients and staff evacuated to another hospital, Val is forced to work nights in the empty building. Within these walls lies a deadly secret, forcing Val to face her own traumatic past in order to confront the malevolent force that intends to destroy everything around her.
“The Power” places its heroine in the context of a classic ghost story: isolated in a room where former patients have died. Right from the start, she’s in a liminal space – a darkened and diminished hospital ward – forced to walk the line and prioritize discipline over all kinds of principles.
This is a common message throughout the film, illustrated especially when Val tells a child to be alone and be quiet in terrifying conditions, and “everything will be fine.” He quickly points out who the bad guys are and whose voices have been muffled, which requires the alliances of the story. Terry, whose quote above illustrates the tension at play (all fears are around darkness and negative space), also warns, “You will find that saying what you think is not popular here. , Val. “
All are revealing lines of dialogue in “The Power,” which, without spoiling the plot too much, leans toward women and girls whose voices have not surpassed those of the male authority figures who attacked them. in their time. “The Power” doesn’t just shine a light on injustice, it questions the very systems that make injustices work and thrive, from top to bottom.