By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Scary things come out of the dark during a London blackout.
Shudder will exclusively debut THE POWER April 8. Written and directed by Corinna Faith, it stars Rose Williams, Shakira Rahman, Charlie Carrick, Diveen Henry, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Nuala McGowan, Emma Rigby and Theo Barklem-Biggs. The synopsis: “London, 1974. As Britain prepares for electrical blackouts to sweep across the country, trainee nurse Val [Williams] arrives for her first day at the crumbling East London Royal Infirmary. With most of the patients and staff evacuated to another hospital, Val is forced to work the night shift, finding herself in a dark, near-empty building. Within these walls lies a deadly secret, forcing Val to face both her own traumatic past and deepest fears in order to confront the malevolent force that’s intent on destroying everything around her.”
“While I was writing the script,” Faith says, “I read a good description of what a ghost story classically is: a disturbed spirit has an issue that a protagonist, usually female, needs to understand and solve. Then the spirit can rest in peace. This description resonated with me. I was already telling the story from a female point of view, and wanted the female experience to inform the horror elements. But I was writing during the explosion of resistance to silence and passivity that came with the #MeToo movement. And it felt like the landscape was changing to some extent. The idea that an angry spirit could neatly be put to rest, made quiet at the end of a story, felt plain wrong. This gave me an interesting trajectory.
“I realized while we were filming that we were telling a story about the silence of girls. Voices made quiet. Then I realized that without planning, I was telling the story of my journey to that moment too. It had taken many years, and changes in my own confidence and the confidence of the industry, to get there. To allow my own voice to speak. Like the restless spirit, I’ve no intention of laying it to rest now.”