Last week I had the privilege of screening the movie Wraith before it is released on VOD/Blu-Ray on May 8th. It is a first-of-its kind film that intertwines the Pro-Life movement into the horror/thriller film scene. When I was approached to view the film, I must say I was a bit skeptical. Most thrillers are laced with drugs, sex, and links to the underworld. Although rated PG-13 for scary and adult scenes, I am glad to report that Wraith has none of the stuff that make Christian parents say “no” to horror films.
The movie begins when the Luken’s, a family of three, learn they are expecting another child. Due to financial hardships and other factors, the parents seriously consider aborting the child while unknowingly inviting evil into their home. In a secular world, of course it’s easy to run with the quickest “fix” when life throws you curve balls. But the Christian person knows that God loves to disrupt routine to invite us to do something better: to share in the Gospel. Interestingly, the family in this movie does not identify as any sort of Christian, but make many visits to a Priest when spirits begin haunting their teenage daughter. In a way, their agnosticism makes them more relatable to the largely secular culture we live in. While talking hypothetically about her new pregnancy, Katie reports to her daughter that she certainly does not need to keep the baby if it’s not convenient. Fourteen year old Lucy asks in response if her mother considered an abortion for her, too.
Lines like that to make us think are scattered throughout the film and appear to be director Michael O. Sajbel’s specialty. Although he is not Catholic, it is clear the research was done to depict Catholicism correctly. (You would be amazed at how many films put Catholic Priests in Protestant churches or practicing a non-Catholic service). Before exorcising the home, the Priest mentions that evil comes in a vacuum—a void of where something should be. As Catholics, we know with certainty that that void is a personal and sacramental relationship with Jesus Christ. When we knowingly choose to not have that relationship and have our choices reflect that, we, too, invite evil into our lives.
It is clear throughout the movie that both parents believe this new life is an inconvenience—a burden, even. The Priest (my favorite character in this movie for many reasons) says another killer line, “out of arrogance it seems as though we have control” YES. YES. YES. Who is not nodding their heads in agreement right now?! The Luken’s definitely learn their lesson, but not without the pain and suffering of their own self-inflicted cross. I would love to give you more details, but you’re just going to have to see for yourself on May 8th!