A Conversation with Wraith Director Michael O. Sajbel May09


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A Conversation with Wraith Director Michael O. Sajbel

Something’s very wrong in the Lukens’ house.

After living uneventfully for years in their historic home, the Lukens family have somehow awakened a ghostly presence. Who is this frightening spirit and why won’t it leave their 14 year-old daughter, Lucy, alone?

Everything changed when Dennis and Katie Lukens discovered they were pregnant again. Expecting in your 40’s is always high-risk and dangerous, so when the Lukens decide all options are on the table – including termination – the unexpected starts to happen. Sinister forces are now conspiring against the family. But is this eerie, wraith-like spirit actually trying to haunt them…or help them?

Wraith is available on all VOD platforms and Blu-ray/DVD.

BuddyHollywood’s Mike Parker recently had a conversation with writer/director Michael O. Sajbel about his new film, Wraith, which released on all VOD platforms and Blu-ray/DVD May 8, 2018.

Mike Parker: Wraith isn’t exactly your run of the mill haunted house horror flick. I won’t add any spoilers, but I’m to learn where you came up with the idea.

Michael O. Sajbel: It comes from a couple of places. The definition of the word “Wraith” is a spirit or whisp or trait that appears at a particular time as a result of a particular event. I just followed the breadcrumbs. Plus, I live in a part of Wisconsin that has a lot of old mansions, from the days of the paper barrons, and each one has their legend of an inhabiting spirit.

Parker: You draw on the ancient Canaanite god, Moloch, as the source for the evil force in the house. Can you elaborate on who this character is and why you chose him?

Sajbel: There have been times in my life when no work was coming in. And I wanted to be productive, so I’d volunteer at different organizations, and I spent some time reading the Bible. I’m sure I came across the name from that, but it wasn’t in the front of my mind. While I was writing the script, I woke up one morning with the word, Moloch, in my mind. And I thought, what the heck is a Moloch? I looked it up and wow, it just fit together nicely.

Parker: Filmmakers often inject a subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, message in their movies, apart from simply wanting to tell a good story. What do you hope viewers take away from “Wraith”?

Sajbel: I made the film because my daughter was 13 years old at the time, and she wanted to watch a horror movie on halloween. As any good dad would, I rented the movie she wanted to watch and previewed it first. Now, I get the appeal of a good horror movie, but there was just so much material that was completely not appropriate for a young teenager. I decided I wanted to make a film that teenagers could watch that would be scary and thrilling, but without all the bad language and gore and all the other things that contemporary horror films are known for.

Parker: Any good interviewer has a list of questions, and most of the time I think they are the same questions that every other interviewer asks. So let me throw it to you. Is there a question you would love to answer, but nobody has asked yet?

Sajbel: The film kind of wrote itself. There were a couple of ways I could have taken the story, but I think we ended up with a movie that anyone can watch. Yes, there are some faith elements to the film, and some people will view it as a faith-based movie. But that was not my intent. I wanted to make a movie that anyone, regardless of their world view could enjoy.

Parker: Last words?

Sajbel: Our children are watching a lot of films that we might object to. This film has a lot of the elements that they want to see, but doesn’t cross the line.