Monique leaves her family confinement during the pandemic to help a friend who suffers from terrible nightmares which, she learns too late, are contagious.
Grimmfest Says: OK, we know what you’re thinking: “Not another pandemic film”. But this one marks the welcome return of Andy Mitton, deserving recipient of the Grimmfest “Best Scare” Award in 2018, for the bone-chilling THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW, and who now brings his uniquely unsettling and idiosyncratic vision to the all-too-real horrors of the recent lockdown. Focusing less on the pandemic itself than on the wider existential threat it represents, the film taps into folk memory and the iconography of earlier plagues and epidemics, to conjure up the Harbinger of the title, a dream-dwelling demon with the ability to abnegate people entirely from reality; a mind-born metaphysical horror, it serves as the perfect metaphor for the ways in which so many people did just slip through the cracks during the lockdown period, dying and being buried without proper funerals or anyone to mourn them, or sliding into a downward spiral of clinical depression in which the desire to disappear entirely is all too painfully real. Taking careful time to develop and build its characters, their relationships, and their situation, grounding the increasingly disturbing events in credible human reality, the film balances intelligence and emotional weight with some genuinely disquieting and disorientating imagery, using the increasingly slippery waking nightmare shifts in reality with cruel effectiveness, culminating in an ending that is both utterly chilling & quietly heartbreaking.
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