“Wraith” mixes admirable message, disturbing premise


An earnest but flawed horror tale about a family of three — parents Jackson Hurst and Ali Hillis and teen daughter Catherine Frances — whose Victorian home in Neenah, Wisconsin, becomes the venue for some unwelcome supernatural activity.

Consultation with a priest (Lance Henriksen) raises the possibility that the haunting is connected to the mother’s unexpected pregnancy and her plan to abort her baby.

The pro-life message of writer-director Michael O. Sajbel’s film is as honorable as it is unmistakable. But blending this theme with well-worn exorcism and poltergeist tropes turns out to be a dubious decision.

The film is ossibly acceptable for older teens. There is some nonlethal violence, a sexual predation plotline, a nongraphic marital bedroom scene, a few sexual references.

The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.