Those of us in the West are fortuitous to be living in an unusually stable period of history. While the current pandemic has shaken the world in ways which were unimaginable just a few years ago, epidemics used to be commonplace. During outbreaks of the bubonic plague, towns hired plague doctors. These were often second-rate physicians who abused their position, but they offered hope. Their presence both terrified and reassured. Their arrival a portent of what was to come. The Harbinger plays on these ideas.
Monique (Gabby Beans) is isolating with her brother Lyle (Myles Walker) in upstate New York. They’ve established a routine to keep themselves safe, especially since their elderly father (Raymond Anthony Thomas) is not well and they are terrified of him catching COVID. However, when an old friend, Mavis (Emily Davis), contacts her out of the blue, she feels duty bound to go and help. Monique is not prepared for what she finds.
The Harbinger plays on the fears we all had during the height of the pandemic, using these cleverly to create a claustrophobic atmosphere of impending doom. While it never quite manages to move through all the gears, writer/director Andy Mitton’s film cleverly toys with our emotions. Providing the spectre of a demon as a nightmare just waiting to come true. Making The Harbinger a film which will play on your mind long after the credits roll.
The Harbinger screened at Grimmfest.