“The Harbinger,” also known as “The Curse of Rosalie,” is a recent American horror saga about a troubled little girl, her helpless parents and a stack of mysterious deaths in the town. This film illustrates a different concept of horror, blending a creepy child and the struggles of her family with Native American folklore and their classic beliefs. Will Klipstine is not only the director and screenwriter in this film, but he also plays one of the pivotal roles in the film. However, this movie is believed to be a promising feature of an evil possession out of the traditional and hyped possession and exorcism loophole tales. How evil is it? Let’s dive in.
Is Rosalie Unwell? Or Is She Possessed? Who Is Responsible For Her Terrible Condition?
The story opens its wings with a little girl, Rosalie Snyder (Madeleine McGraw), who is dead in her living body. Unlike other children, her numb, stagnant, and bone-chilling eyes are devoid of any sort of youthful exuberance. She is heard mumbling something completely absurd. She asserts during a funeral that she can see the deceased individual in hell, tormented and burning. Rosalie’s parents, Daniel (Will Klipstine) and Theresa (Amanda MacDonald), are definitely uncomfortable with the situation, so they see psychologist Dr. Emily Warren (Teal Redmann), who informs them that Rosalie may have multiple personality disorder or schizophrenia. Unexpectedly, though, the parents declined to treat their daughter, giving the lame excuse that they were relocating and would do so once they had settled. Rosalie has never been that way before; we learn. She was a happy youngster, but it is still unknown whether she needs medical attention or whether her parents are aware of the true cause of their daughter’s illness.
The family relocated to St. Heraldson, a small town with an overly extroverted population. When they arrive at their home, Betty, a local, comes rushing out to greet them. Not just her; their neighbor John (Steve Monroe) also visits and encourages Daniel to join him for drinks. Even though they receive a dinner invitation from Mrs. Lester, a different neighbor. Despite all the positive interactions, they still feel a little awkward and uneasy about themselves. The same Rosalie as previously. Daniel learns that there is a person who practices spiritual healing and resides in a neighboring native American tribe. However, his neighbors are adamant in warning him since the location is cursed. They also claim that anyone who visited the location caused a string of unfortunate events to occur in the community. Rosalie eventually starts to shove kids off heights or smash frogs in her tiny fists to frighten them. Despite her parent’s best efforts to persuade their new neighbors that she is having difficulty adjusting, they begin to have doubts about her. Rosalie’s parents work very hard to create a joyful environment for her. Theresa introduces Rosalie to Alice and her young daughter Anna so that Rosalie can make some friends. Theresa is surprised to learn that Alice is waiting to pass away rather than living her life. Consequently, they receive enough eerie vibes from everyone in this town.
The town and the family themselves both give off suspicious vibes. Daniel seems to be a member of staff at the life insurance company. He has a stunning black suitcase that has the distinctive design of a snake coiling a wood stick inside of it. At the very beginning of the movie, we see him removing this item from a chamber where his friend committed suicide. Theresa tells her husband that she likes this town, but he advises her not to become attached to anyone because they are only in town for work. Later, Theresa asks Daniel to complete his task so that they can get their daughter back. Even though Daniel frequently sees someone wearing a grey coat and cap, he is confident that he is not an ordinary human being. All of these conversations now appear hazy and unintelligible. Why does he want to prevent his wife from getting to know anyone? For instance, does his job affect his daughter’s health? What is the Snyder family trying to keep a secret? Only time will tell.
Who is Floating Hawk? How Does She Help Daniel?
Daniel and Theresa visit the reservation with their little daughter, where they encounter Floating Hawk (Irene Bedard), a middle-aged Native American lady. Rosalie is seen as not wanting to stay in that location, and the Floating Hawk did not even allow Rosalie to enter their sacred territory. However, she hears everything about the child from Daniel. She informs him that only death will be able to save his child. The fact that Daniel’s child cannot be saved breaks his heart. Daniel visits Mrs. Lester’s home that evening because she has invited him to help with her life insurance. Daniel notices that the front entrance has been opened, and she is hanging from a neighboring tree. He is startled when he notices that the same serpentine artifact is lying on the grass. The entire town is troubled by the suicide. When Daniel can’t sleep, he meets John out of the blue and decides to have a beer with him. John tells him that Betty has been spreading reports about them that the area has been experiencing such terrible incidents ever since they moved there. When John leaves the residence after bringing additional beer bottles, Daniel notices a display of antiquities and sculptures. He is shocked to discover the same artifact he is holding and what he noticed on the grass. John notices that he is interested in that specific artifact and informs him that Mesopotamia is where this special artifact was found. He continues by mentioning how this specific artifact is said to be the harbinger’s tool and a portent of calamity. The messenger of Lucifer, who truly arrives as damnation to gather souls for the wicked power, is known as the harbinger. This pure evil, hell-forged snake artifact inspires people to end their lives. The individual commits suicide and gives his soul to Lucifer after the harbinger places the relic close to the person whose soul he intends to steal. John responds that suicide is the only way a person’s soul may be entirely given when Daniel asks why they don’t kill people instead of just persuading them to commit suicide. He also says that Lucifer uses harbingers to spread out across a large area and gather souls. Usually, one harbinger is dispatched to every city. People are coerced into signing contracts by the Dark Lord to serve as harbingers. Typically, Lucifer chooses those who have done wrong to do this duty. One more stunning old sculpture of a warrior and an eagle is displayed to Daniel by John.
The following day, Daniel is met by Detective Tracy Henning (Vince Duvall), who gives him a photo of the serpentine artifact and asks if it belongs to him. Additionally, he says that it is implausible for an 80-year-old woman to climb that tree and hang herself, so the police are still investigating the possibility of murder. He suddenly notices the man with the coat and cap and the briefcase. Running after him, he arrives at the cemetery and discovers the briefcase. Here, Alice alerts Theresa about the two girls’ disappearance; they are later discovered next to a tunnel. The tunnel was once used by mobsters as a hiding place and is said to be haunted. Rosalie announces the arrival of the harbinger. Now, who is that harbinger who enters the town and murders innocent citizens? How did Daniel get that snake-like tool? Is he the harbinger, or someone else?
When Daniel returns to Floating Hawk, she shares with him a sacred knife from their ancient folklore. She instructs him to use this dagger to stab his daughter in the heart in order to drive the evil from her. Daniel’s own daughter, though. How can he do that? He contends that by doing this, she will undoubtedly pass away. Hawk advises him to believe her, verify the details, and assume that his daughter has passed away. The dagger won’t kill the holy life; it will only murder whatever wicked thing has her soul. Daniel visits the library because he is aware that the dagger is hidden beneath the oval stone of Auclair Crypt, next to the cemetery. He goes there but is unable to locate it. The holy church’s head, however, denies blessing Rosalie since some evil force has joined with her body. Rosalie finds a dagger in the tunnel that evening and surprises her parents. Daniel comes to Hawk armed with a wealth of knowledge. She is aware that Daniel is terrified of a bald man who once paid him a visit, but she is unable to discern why. Theresa eventually becomes alarmed by the dead animals on her lawn and the written “Kill Yourself” on the wall. They are constantly aware of an eye watching them covertly. Daniel is mercilessly attacked by a horrible entity. That night, Harlan Lester, Mrs. Irene Lester’s son, was murdered in his house. Everyone in the town accuses the Snyders of these sinister deeds and casts doubt on their guilt as murderers. Even Anna’s mother, Alice, forbade Rosalie from playing with her daughter due to Rosalie’s obscene behavior. We soon discover that Betty, the one who spreads all of these rumors, ultimately dies after driving her car off a cliff. The identical snake relic is now discovered in Daniel’s briefcase by the police, who then detain him for the murders of Mrs. Lester, Harlan, and Betty. Despite his repeated claims of innocence, the police do not believe him.
Daniel calls John and confesses to him that he is the harbinger but denies being responsible for any of these crimes. He describes how his investment in a Ponzi scheme resulted in a significant loss. He was in great despair until one day, a bald man approached him and offered to be his harbinger in exchange for a promise that his entire financial situation, including his prison sentences, would be resolved. Furthermore, until his work was finished, that horrible guy stole the spirit of his daughter. Daniel makes it obvious that he only came to this town to carry out “this” work, which entails killing people, but he has not done so. Someone else has committed a similar murder, and he asks John to assist him. John, however, does not trust him because he claims to have purchased these artifacts from stores and thinks that everything, he has said is just a myth. Daniel is upset when John doesn’t believe him, but he gets bail, and the enigmatic man Daniel frequently sees makes him free.
‘The Harbinger’ Ending, Explained: How Was The Soul of Rosalie Restored?
Daniel rushes to Hawk and is shocked to see that she is already aware of his reality. Hawk explains to him the origins of this conflict. The first white fur-furred foreigners arrived in 1647 and settled where the native Americans once lived. They brought with them their many civilizations, myths, deities, and anti-deities, which the indigenous had a hard time understanding. Their ruler, the Lord of Death was called Lucifer or Luc (Charles Hubbell). He began a murdering rampage but was unable to use his ability in the locals’ sacred graveyard. Now that we know Rosalie’s soul has been kidnapped by the evil Luc, we can see why she forbade her from entering her holy land. Eventually, the two groups signed a treaty, promising not to bother anyone. The tribesmen gave them the warrior and eagle artifact Daniel saw in John’s room, and Luc gave them a key. However, Luc broke his word and assaulted the indigenous who crossed the line, killing them with the serpentine weapon. Their followers buried their dead bodies generation after generation in the holy ground of the natives, so those souls were never claimed by God or Luc. He and his supporters were therefore cursed by the locals. But Luc misled everyone by claiming that if his disciples gathered enough souls, he would lift the curse. The truth is that the harbingers will never be able to lift this curse, no matter how many souls they gather. Hawk told him to stab his daughter in the heart with the dagger so he could resuscitate her and drive the evil from her. Hawk is shocked when Daniel presents her with “the warrior and eagle relic,” a symbol of nature and mankind cooperating that has been gone from their culture for ages. Daniel informs her that Luc’s power won’t operate there because the left side of the crypt building was unintentionally constructed on native ground. In order to unlock the crypt and carry out the resurrection there, Hawk now hands him the key that Luc gave him during this treaty. There are two crypt entrances. The first is above ground at the cemetery, and the second is accessible only through the tunnel. Hawk isn’t sure Luc will let Daniel use the above-ground entry, but he wants to. Additionally, the underground tunnel road will be difficult because it is home to many haunted spirits.
When Daniel gets home, he updates Theresa on all of their plans. To get Rosalie to join them, they poison her drink, and then John emerges from nowhere. He reveals that the detective shot himself, and because of this, he thinks Daniel is actually a sign. John claims that he is also a harbinger and that when Daniel first confessed to him, he was terrified. He agrees to participate in Daniel’s plan, and together they go with Rosalie to the cemetery. They did not want to wait, even if Hawk asked him to leave throughout the day. Once they arrive at the crypt, they turn toward the tunnel after spotting Luke. Another white object that wards off bad spirits was gathered by Daniel. With its assistance, they ultimately get through the tunnel containing an infinite number of souls and enter the crypt. Luc usually can’t enter the crypt. However, inside the crypt lies another spherical relic that can be called him. However, the twist is still to come. When everything is ready, and Daniel is about to stab his daughter, John tries to steer him in the wrong direction. Here comes the clincher. To our complete surprise, he displays the spherical artifact that can summon Luc. Without a doubt, John is a fraud who deceived Daniel in order to prevent him from bringing his child’s soul. They start fighting, and the unidentified man who secured Daniel’s bail intervenes to save him. He is an emissary (Bruce Bohne), an angel who guards the harbinger even while they are unaware of it. He is the one who gave Rosalie a hint to look in the tunnel for the dagger. The Emissary is killed by John after being struck by the holy dagger, and his corpse is changed into a relic that is later changed back into the holy dagger.
Finally, Luc appears and informs them that they are indeed harbingers from other incarnations. In their previous lives, they dropped the serpentine relics so expertly that Luc was impressed and brought them back. They were also helpful to him in their subsequent lives, but in this one, Daniel only dropped one relic—and that was for the businessman who defrauded him in the Ponzi scheme. After that, despite the fact that they were just dispatched to this location to perform “work,” he did not kill a single person. He even proceeded to kill an elderly man, but when his granddaughter arrived, he was unable to do so. Daniel basically did not want to carry on his sin from his previous life. Because St. Heraldson is the place where all the retired harbingers are sent, Luc intentionally sent them there out of his extreme disgust. The realization that Daniel was not assigned to kill anyone but rather to reside in the community of former harbingers before their descent into hell astounded him. This explains why they frequently had a vision of death and the words “Kill Yourself.” All of Luc’s neighbors who committed suicide are called and condemned to hell. After much difficulty, Daniel finally asks for his daughter’s life in exchange for his soul and then stabs himself. When Rosalie awakens following Daniel’s passing, she is once more a happy kid. Even better, Daniel reunites with his family and reclaims his life. Daniel begins to question how he is still alive. His daughter mentions the card the Emissary brought. Rosalie put that card of death in his father’s clothes because the soul could be reclaimed if it was there at the time of the curse. The three emerge from the crypt joyfully, but Luc views their victory as a test and vows to return stronger.
Final Word: Constructive Criticism
“The Harbinger” is not a great film, for sure. The filmmaker did some wonderful work experimenting with new ways to tell a horror narrative, and his inventive use of traditional mythology is admirable, even though his application of it is completely at odds with it. The more the film progresses, the more unmanageable chaos increases. We see some average sketches of the characters, and the suspense is also fairly good. However, the horrifying images are not convincing enough. The movie has its share of hilarious moments, but it also has its share of bizarre situations, particularly when it combines Christian ideas with mystical Native American weapons and the pointless past-life connection. Overall, despite the director’s best efforts, the fantasy drama he attempts to produce ends up being a complete jumble. Therefore, feel free to watch it without having any high expectations.
“The Harbinger” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Will Klipstine.