This introductory text suggests a classroom understanding of what happens to Val (Rose Williams), a gentle intern nurse who studies “the connection between poverty and health” (her words) when visited and possessed by a ghost in the East London Infirmary. .
Val’s topic of study is worthwhile, as is the filmmakers’ attention to the many small ways Val is pressured (both socially and professionally) to keep quiet about, uh, everything that goes on at the hospital. Unfortunately, the infirmary’s chain of command is often more interesting than the secrets Val has to keep under her nursing hat. And while systemic abuses are often overwhelming because of its universality, the compelling details of Val’s problems are too impersonal to be disturbing.
So it’s no surprise that Val, being a gentle but well-meaning type of benefactor, takes a moment to find out what’s really going on at the East London Infirmary. First, she accidentally embarrasses her supervisor, the matron mumbles from school (Diveen Henry), who warns Val that she must follow the matron’s instructions on how to wear her work uniform (skirt three inches below the waist). knees) and when to talk to staff physicians. (almost never, because “they communicate above your level”).
Val doesn’t break these rules on purpose: she’s asked sassy questions (eg: for her professional opinion) by the young and exceptionally warm-hearted Dr Franklyn (Charlie Carrick). Franklyn’s Status presents a believable-if-you-do / damn-if-you-don’t-dilemma, the kind that often arises when you receive conflicting instructions from two different bosses. The hospital matron punishes Val by assigning him to the night shift on the first day. This decision inevitably leads Val to discovering something that may or may not haunt the infirmary.
I say “inevitably” because “The Power” is a possession movie, with spasmodic and disbelieving colleagues, and a scared pre-teen who tries and fails to warn everyone of the dangers that (mostly) come at night. Most of the items on this checklist are used quite well, but none of them are surprising or so well done that they are consistently convincing.
In fact, the weakest parts of “The Power” are where a dark, melancholy vibe is supposed to carry the film, especially when an invisible presence takes control of Val’s body and shakes her like a rag doll. The most memorable of these scenes is when an invisible hand lifts Val’s skirt onto her knees, which are shown from behind; a refrain of ghostly moans, Penderecki-esque can be heard on the soundtrack, but that doesn’t add much to the sequence. I’m not sure if this is the image you want your genre film to remember, but it stands out, if only for its cuteness under braking.