Interview With Writer And Director Of ‘The Power,’ Corinna Faith

Old and crumbling hospitals are already creepy, but they’re downright terrifying when you mix in some ghosts and pure darkness. This is what you get with the new British horror film, The Power (read our review of the film here), a scary tale of what goes bump in the night during rolling blackouts in 70s England. The Power recently premiered exclusively on Shudder, and to celebrate, I chatted with writer/director Corinna Faith about what inspired the film, the challenges of filming in the dark, and what’s up next.

PopHorror: Hi Corinna! I’m super excited to speak with you today. How does it feel to have your first feature become a Shudder exclusive?

Corinna Faith: It was great! It’s unexpected. What was lovely about the Shudder experience was they’re just really passionate about the film, and they’re really supportive of their filmmakers. So I felt very well looked after. They just really got it, and put a lot of effort into promoting it for us, so it was brilliant.

PopHorror: Very nice! And what inspired the story, and how did the project come about?

Corinna Faith: The inspiration was very much about what’s going on in the news in the UK at the time when I was looking around for a ghost story territory to write within. There were some horrible institutional abuse cover-ups, unfortunately, that were emerging at the time and most of them were what took place in the ’70s and ’80s. So I was thinking about that time frame. And then I came across the blackout as a setting in these institutions, which I hadn’t really been super aware of, and I just thought it was a really powerful combination to tell a story about these secrets and cover-ups within a dark setting.

PopHorror: Knowing that it’s based on true events makes it scary enough but adding the blackout to it was genius because that just makes it terrifying.

Corinna Faith: Yeah, and I think there’s something about what we hold back from ourselves and what our main character is concealing from herself about her background that just all resonates with the idea of keeping ourselves in the dark as well. So it really helps the writing process having all those things pull together.

PopHorror: Absolutely. With most of the film taking place in the dark, what were some of the challenges that you faced while shooting?

Corinna Faith: I think the first one was that we didn’t want the audience being exhausted watching it and just to be struggling with being in the dark for a huge amount of time so me and my DP, Laura Bellingham, were looking for different types of darkness and different levels to take it to, to spread through so that it wasn’t repetitive, but still that I could give it some visual flair. That was a challenge but a fun one. Working with the oil lamps was a technical nightmare because they’re real, and they were noisy for the sound people and they were always breaking and that was quite tricky.

PopHorror: That’s one thing I noticed was the sound coming from them. I never knew that they would give off such a noise because I’m not really familiar with them, but I did notice that.

Corinna Faith:  I’m calling them oil lamps but they’re gas lamps actually, so it’s burning a kind of gas and they’re really noisy. It lends a good atmosphere there in the end, but hair-raising from a technical standpoint.

PopHorror: I really liked the way that they looked in the dark. That was really cool. Were you a horror fan before making this film?

Corinna Faith: Yup, I’ve always been. I’m a film fan overall, but I tend to watch a lot of genre, and I’ve always been drawn to horror since I started watching it in a very indiscriminate way and there’s a lot more that I don’t like and I avoid. But some of my big favorite key moment films as I’ve grown up as a cinema watcher have been horror films.

PopHorror: I love that. And what is up next for you?

Corinna Faith: I’m just about to embark on writing my next horror project. Unfortunately, I’ve still got to sit down and do it, because COVID has slowed me down somewhat. So that’s what I’m doing. I’ve got another commission from the British Film Institute here to write another script so I’m starting that now.

PopHorror: That’s exciting! I really liked this one so I’m excited to see what you have coming up for us. And I just have one last question for you today. What is your favorite scary movie?

Corinna Faith: Probably still Aliens. It’s just an incredible film.

Thank you so much, Corinna, for taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to catch The Power, exclusively on Shudder now.

About Tiffany Blem

Horror lover, dog mommy, book worm, EIC of PopHorror.

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