By George Bate
The Wraith Within is a new horror film from Gravitas Ventures, the independent film distributor behind various overlooked thriller and horror gems. Their newest release comes from director Aaron Strey and stars Michael Madson, Allison Hawkstone, Shane Christopher, Brian Hodges, and Ally Kathryn.
The Wraith Within follows a group of high school friends returning to their hometown in rural Texas for a high school reunion. As tensions flare between the friends, they soon find themselves caught up in a decades-long curse of the town that puts all of their lives in danger.
Now streaming on Digital HD, The Wraith Within is a horror flick that harkens back to some of the wild horror-comedy blends of the 1990s. It’s a throwback to a less pretentious, more tongue-in-cheek era of horror cinema. Similar to the likes of Scream, The Wraith Within features a ton of fun references and Easter eggs calling back to famous slashers like Halloween and Child’s Play. And the characters are all different degrees of awkward and hilarious. The story itself doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s certainly serviceable and features an ominous, creepy creature cursing the small Texan town. Speaking of the town, The Wraith Within has the sort of small town, unnerving aesthetic seen in the likes of Children of the Corn and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The streets are desolate, the locals are hostile, and a terror linked to a tragedy from the past haunts everything.
Michael Madson (Reservoir Dogs, Sin City) stands out as a gravelly-voiced, earring-wearing sheriff, while the series of lesser known actors in the other parts play into the wacky tone of the film.
The Wraith Within is a stark contrast to ‘elevated horror’ like Hereditary or The Babadook. It’s a film that leans into its tongue-in-cheek nature in a manner similar to the wild horror/comedies of the 1990s. For horror enthusiasts looking for a throwback 90-minute fright fest, The Wraith Within may be up your alley.
The Wraith Within is now streaming on Digital HD. Check out a trailer below!