Inspiration Through Film


Mike Spera

When I think of ghosts and what it's like to be a ghost, quite a few movies come to mind. I'll mention them here and let you decide which ones will inspire you and which ones will waste your time. I think all of these films are excellent, but everything is relative.

THE CROW: If you want to see what the World Of Darkness is like, you owe it to yourself to see this flick. I haven't seen The Crow 2 or 3, but I get the feeling that neither of them can live up to this one. In The Crow, there's nothing really in the way of Arcanos (maybe the early levels of Argos as he's jumping across rooftops), but you can definitely tell what his passions and fetters are. You want a worm's-eye view on how your cities should be? Get The Crow.

THE SHINING: Here's Johnny! This movie helps a LOT if you're playing a wraith or a Malkavian (a vampire clan whose members go insane after the Embrace). Either way, you see throughout the movie the long, downward spiral from normality to insanity. If you need some inspiration on how to play a Haunter, pick up this movie and drive the Quick up the wall! There are some disturbing uses of Embody, Pandemonium, and possible Phantasm. The old woman in the bathtub, two little girls that give visions of them dead on the ground with blood covering the walls, and the caretaker talking to Jack Nicholson about Jack being the caretaker instead of him, and urging Jack to kill his wife and son. If it's the middle of winter (as it is here in my home state of Massachusetts) then pick up this movie, curl up on the couch at night, and enjoy. You might not "get" the movie the first time, but don't worry about it.

THE 6TH SENSE: This movie scared the shit out of me the first time I saw it, and it still scares the shit out of me. Not while I'm watching it, but when I'm alone in my room at night trying to fall asleep, wondering exactly how many dead people are watching me right now. The fact that the previous landlord's son died in the apartment below mine doesn't comfort me, either. Regardless, I think this film will help mediums or hunters more than wraiths. The story focuses around the boy and the doctor, with the ghosts popping up here or there for various reasons.
You can probably base a few Wraith: The Oblivion characters on some of the ghosts in this movie! The ghosts use Embody more than anything, and they use it well. If you want a modern film that's overall a terrific and scary movie, get The 6th Sense.

THE FRIGHTENERS: Peter Jackson has come a long way over the years. He's gone from writing and directing stuff like Meet The Feebles, Braindead (aka Dead Alive), and Bad Taste to the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. This one's about a ghost "hunter" who is actually working with the ghosts. Everything is going fine until the Grim Reaper comes to town. There's plenty of Outrage here, and a bit of Fatalism with the numbers on the foreheads. Essentially, this movie is good to see how spectres work. Both the living and the dead work against the Reaper, trying to find out what he wants exactly. I won't spoil it for you, but the Reaper is not what it seems to be. I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see some Outrage in action or to see how devious the shadow-eaten can be when they put their minds to it.

THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL: There are two versions of this movie, the black-and-white classic and the color remake. In the black-and-white classic, the house isn't actually haunted, the hosts just uses little tricks and illusions to make it look haunted. In the remake, the house is a huge haunt where the Shroud is almost non-existent and you can almost taste the Angst in the air. Although the remake is stupid compared to the original, it serves as an inspiration for Wraith much better than its predecessor. The whole basement area is one huge, ghost-infested Hell. The Restless in this movie don't do much in the way of Arcanos, but the way they appear and what they do is much more disturbing. If you want to build a good haunt or learn some tips to scare the wits out of the living, then The House On Haunted Hill remake is for you.