THE HARBINGER

Dir. Andy Mitton | USA | 2022 | 87 mins

Monique (Gabby Beans) has been extremely careful throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. She’s been quarantining with her father and brother, wiping down groceries and diligently wearing her mask. One day, she receives an unexpected call from her old friend Mavis (Laura Heisler), who has been suffering from intense nightmares and is in desperate need of help. Mo makes the difficult decision to break the bubble that she and her family have created, and goes to see Mavis in the city. However, when she reaches Mavis, Mo is shocked to discover just how frightening the situation is. Not only are these nightmares beyond terrifying, but Mavis is struggling to wake up from them, and can lose days at a time. As Mo sets about trying to ease Mavis’ suffering, it slowly becomes apparent that something is causing these terrible dreams: a sinister demonic presence that feeds on isolation and fear. And much to Mo’s horror, it’s not just Covid that’s highly contagious. 

Writer-director Andy Mitton delivers a quietly devastating and compassionate portrayal of loneliness with THE HARBINGER; a nightmarish world where the line between dreams and reality is insidiously blurred, in which two people attempt to connect with and support each other throughout a devastating global event. The film utilises the theme of the pandemic in a uniquely unsettling way, as if fuelled by our collective trauma. Folkloric imagery of historical epidemics is represented with the disturbing plague doctor, and moments we have all recently experienced - such as the excruciating awkwardness of asking permission to remove a mask or to hug somebody - are incredibly well observed, bringing a strong sense of realism and humanity to this chilling supernatural tale.

Screening with FISHWIFE

BUY YOUR FESTIVAL PASS HERE