Title Card - The Harbinger
"Title Card - The Harbinger," The Harbinger, directed by Will Klipstine, 2022, (Screen Media Films)

As long as you start “The Harbinger” recognizing it is an indie movie, not a big-budget production, you can forgive its flaws and enjoy what is given.


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As long as you start “The Harbinger” recognizing it is an indie movie, not a big-budget production, you can forgive its flaws and enjoy what is given.

Director(s) Will Klipstine
Screenplay By Will Klipstine, Amy Mills
Date Released (In Theaters, Video On Demand) 9/3/2022
Genre(s) Fantasy, Horror
Duration 1 Hour and 54 Minutes
Content Rating PG-13
Noted Cast
Floating Hawk Irene Bedard
Rosalie Madeline McGraw
Daniel Will Klipstine
Theresa Amanda MacDonald
Luc Charles Hubbell

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Film Summary

Due to Rosalie saying a lot of things which raises red flags wherever her family moves to, Daniel and his wife Theresa find themselves in a small town, hoping to lay low and for things to change for Rosalie. However, as she continues to appear like she is possessed by something demonic, Daniel is forced to face his role in what happened to his daughter, whether he likes it or not.

Things To Note

Reason(s) for Film Rating

  • Dialog: Occasional curse word, but not enough to make the film vulgar
  • Violence: Depiction of suicide, fantasy violence, light blood
  • Sexual Content: None
  • Miscellaneous: Satanic imagery

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Floating Hawk

Floating Hawk (Irene Bedard) talking to Daniel
“Floating Hawk (Irene Bedard) talking to Daniel,” The Harbinger, directed by Will Klipstine, 2022, (Screen Media Films)

Floating Hawk is a seer who tries to help Daniel realize it isn’t just what he has done in this life that has led to the series of unfortunate events in his life.

Daniel

A salesman who, unfortunately, has a daughter who appears to be possessed or has lost her soul. Thus leaving her this callous child who seems to remember her Catholic upbringing, but only when it is time to offend people.

Theresa

Theresa (Amanda MacDonald) riding in the car, looking out the window
“Theresa (Amanda MacDonald) riding in the car, looking out the window,” The Harbinger, directed by Will Klipstine, 2022, (Screen Media Films)

Daniel’s suffering wife who grips her rosary tight in hopes it’ll protect her and her family,

Rosalie

A little girl who was once so vibrant, approachable, and sweet, who now says all the kind of things that get parents called to the principal’s office, and a psych evaluation requested.

Luc

Luc is Lucifer.

Review

Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Highlights

McGraw Makes For A Wonderful Creepy Girl

Rosalie (Madeline McGraw)
“Rosalie (Madeline McGraw),” The Harbinger, directed by Will Klipstine, 2022, (Screen Media Films)

While Rosalie doesn’t get to do much, there is no denying that McGraw played the role well. When it was time to be daddy’s girl and be this jovial, normal, little kid, she nailed it, and as the dead-in-the-face, soulless version of Rosalie, it worked. Could they have gone further? Yes. But, as much as part of the draw is this soulless child who says some side-eye-worthy things, you can tell she is just meant to be the hook, not what the entire film rides on.

Daniel’s Storyline and Character Development

Daniel (Will Klipstine) facing off with Lucifer
“Daniel (Will Klipstine) facing off with Lucifer,” The Harbinger, directed by Will Klipstine, 2022, (Screen Media Films)

Most horror films operate on a need-to-know basis, and are far more focused on building up the villain and giving the lead a handful of moments to show they matter for this entry, but not in the long run. “The Harbinger” is a bit different. Easily, you can strip the horror element and see Daniel’s story transform down multiple avenues.

As an insurance salesman, you can imagine this taking a turn where he noticed his daughter going through things and believing it is karma hitting him for denying claims, selling bad deals, and who knows what else. With Theresa being religious and Daniel worried about money, you can see a clash between the two and Rosalie, caught in the middle, numbing herself to it all and saying things to get them to focus their feelings towards her.

Now, no movie should be judged on what it could have been, though we do often talk about a film’s potential. However, what “The Harbinger” does in building up Daniel compensates for the little we learn about Theresa, what isn’t done with Rosalie, and some of the campy supporting characters, by reminding us that a strong lead can eclipse a film’s flaws. Especially when they present the kind of story that can still bring interest when stripped from all the bells and whistles.

On The Fence

Luc At The End Of The Movie

Luc (Charles Hubbell) noting he likes a challenge
“Luc (Charles Hubbell) noting he likes a challenge,” The Harbinger, directed by Will Klipstine, 2022, (Screen Media Films)

By the end of “The Harbinger,” Luc goes from a fearsome character based on Lucifer to coming off like Jim Rash, known for playing Dean on “Community.” It’s the kind of switch that pushes you to recognize the film doesn’t want to be taken as seriously as most horror movies, and it is an odd choice. One that completely changes the tone of the townspeople from just a little off, maybe quirky, to you wanting to see them through a slightly comic lens.

Enough Intrigue To Get You To The End, But Not Enough For “The Harbinger” To Be Good

For many people, films exist of the dichotomy of being good or bad. Either you are Oscar-caliber or bargain bin. That is very limited thinking, for such a huge number of movies exist in the middle, and “The Harbinger” is one. With its eccentric cast of supporting characters, who have potentially unintentional comedic flair, borderline camp even, while “The Harbinger” can appear as a lackluster horror movie, you can see the effort.

From creating lore, a history of the town, and Luc’s deals with the local indigenous population and more, this isn’t another horror movie where it seems the only thing invested in was how much blood and grotesque scenes could be made. It wanted to give us characters we could remember, like, hate, and a world that doesn’t seem built in a snap.

Now, is it something you’ll want to watch more than once? Not at all. But, it’s decent, and “The Harbinger” shows that being decent shouldn’t be considered bad.

[ninja_tables id=”46802″]

Title Card - The Harbinger
The Harbinger – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
Overall
Highlights
Daniel’s Storyline and Character Development
McGraw Makes For A Wonderful Creepy Girl
Disputable
Enough Intrigue To Get You To The End, But Not Enough For “The Harbinger” To Be Good
Luc At The End Of The Movie
76

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