Awards & Reviews
Critics on Will Klipstine as Actor
“DANIEL (WILL KLIPSTINE) IS A STRONG CHARACTER THAT AUDIENCES WILL FIND EASY TO ROOT FOR. HE BRINGS THE GRAVITAS THAT IS NEEDED IN THIS TYPE OF STORY.”
- Rotten Tomato-certified critic Nathaniel Muir, AIPT
“AT FIRST, KLIPSTINE DOESN’T SEEM TO CONNECT VERY WELL WITH HIS CHARACTER (BUT WE LEARN WHY). IT SLOWLY IMPROVES AS THE MOVIE MOVES FORWARD AND HIS CHARACTER’S MOTIVATIONS BECOME MORE EXPLICIT.”
- Rotten Tomato-certified critic Alejandro Turdo, #GetThatMovie
“...KLIPSTINE DOES HIS BEST TO CAGE-RAGE IN (NIC CAGE’S) PLACE. HE ALSO NEVER HOLDS BACK PLAYING SNYDER, SHOWING ABSOLUTELY NO FEAR THAT HE MIGHT LOOK RIDICULOUS. YOU CAN SEE THE INFLUENCE OF CAGE’S WORK IN HORROR FILMS LIKE THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE AND BETWEEN WORLDS.”
- Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins
“FANS OF NICOLAS CAGE SHOULD GET ADDED ENJOYMENT FROM KLIPSTINE’S PERFORMANCE AS HE FREQUENTLY CHANNELS EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE SCENERY CHEWER IN HIS MORE OVER-THE-TOP MOMENTS.”
- Jim Morrazzini, Voices From the Balcony
“...WHAT “THE HARBINGER” DOES IN BUILDING UP DANIEL (WILL KLIPSTINE) REMINDS 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.”
- Amari, Wherever I Look
THE EVOLUTION OF ANDREW ANDREWS
“CLEARLY A VEHICLE FOR THE COMEDIC TALENTS OF WILL KLIPSTINE, THE ACTOR SHINES AS A MAN JUST A FEW STEPS REMOVED FROM THE GOOFY, ADORABLE CHARM OF ADAM SANDLER'S BILLY MADISON….KLIPSTINE IS DEFINITELY IN HIS (COMEDIC) ELEMENT.”
- Rotten Tomato-certified critic Richard Propes, The Independent Critic
BEST DIRECTOR, CRYPTICON MINNEAPOLIS - THE HARBINGER (WILL KLIPSTINE)
AUDIENCE AWARD, HOUSTON COMEDY FILM FESTIVAL - THE EVOLUTION OF ANDREW ANDREWS
AUDIENCE AWARD RUNNER UP, DANCES WITH FILMS (LOS ANGELES) - THE EVOLUTION OF ANDREW ANDREWS
BEST PICTURE, CARMEL FILM FESTIVAL - THE EVOLUTION OF ANDREW ANDREWS
BEST ACTOR, CARMEL FILM FESTIVAL - THE EVOLUTION OF ANDREW ANDREWS (WILL KLIPSTINE)
BEST ACTRESS, CARMEL FILM FESTIVAL - THE EVOLUTION OF ANDREW ANDREWS (AMY MILLS)
BEST ACTOR, HOUSTON COMEDY FILM FESTIVAL - THE EVOLUTION OF ANDREW ANDREWS (WILL KLIPSTINE)
BEST ACTRESS, HOUSTON COMEDY FILM FESTIVAL - THE EVOLUTION OF ANDREW ANDREWS (AMY MILLS)
THE MR. MOM TALK SHOW was picked up for distribution by Disney (BlipTV), and was rated 97% - 100% funny on Will Ferrell’s website Funny or Die.
Their feature screenplay SADDLE UP!, a Slapstick Western Musical, scored in the top 10 out of thousands of films on the script coverage site Slated.
THE EVOLUTION OF ANDREW ANDREWS
"A GENTLE, EASYGOING COMEDY...WITH ITS BLEND OF SOPHOMORIC HUMOR, TENDER SWEETNESS AND FUNDAMENTAL GOODNESS" - Richard Propes, The Independent Critic (READ FULL REVIEW)
“A STAR-MAKING PERFORMANCE BY WILL KLIPSTINE”- Sarah Morgan, Independent Film Blog (REVIEW)
“ALTHOUGH KLIPSTINE CARRIES THE FILM, MILLS IS A REVELATION AND I LOOK FORWARD TO HER FUTURE WORK IN CINEMA”- John Winston, Independent Film Quarterly
“THE EVOLUTION OF HIS (WILL KLIPSTINE) CHARACTER GOES FROM ADAM SANDLER-LIKE HISTRIONICS TO SUBTLE NUANCE THAT REMINDED ME OF SAM ROCKWELL BY THE END. I DON’T KNOW HOW HE MADE ME SHED A TEAR ABOUT SAYING GOODBYE TO A GOOFY E.T. DOLL, BUT HE DID IT. GOOD ACTOR”- James Ratcliffe, Indie Reviewer from the Carmel Film Festival screening.
“What I liked the most about The Harbinger is that it takes its time in setting up the ground rules and developing all key plot points. This is definitely a slow burn thriller. The storytelling goes backward and forward, revealing pieces of information to the audience at its own pace. So whenever you feel like something is missing, or you need specifics about a certain thing, just give it a couple of minutes and your questions will be answered in due time. Trust me on this.
Madeleine McGraw does a steady job as the troubled/semi-possessed daughter, but Charles Hubbell as Lucifer is hands down the most fun character - in a creepy kind of way of course. At first, Klipstine himself (as Daniel) doesn’t seem to connect very well with his character (but we learn why). It slowly improves as the movie moves forward and his character’s motivations become more explicit. In spite of becoming a little over-explanatory from time to time, The Harbinger saves the best for last, when all the pieces of the puzzle come together. Not so much a Horror story but a family drama built around supernatural and Thriller elements.”
Alejandro Turdo, #Get That Movie
“As far as supernatural thrillers go, The Harbinger has a hook thanks to Klipstine and co-writer Amy Mills’ plot structure which relies heavily on lore and mystery. Honestly, I can usually pick out where a film is going in minutes, but The Harbinger brings its A-game in creating a complex web of intrigue. It’s easy to see that Klipstine and Mills are fans of old-school noir and horror films. The setups in the film draw inspiration from many movies such as Poltergeist, The Omen, Sinister, The Exorcist, Phantasm, and some paranoia elements of the Hitchcock films.
McGraw is understated here as a corrupted innocent and soulless vessel, forced to see the world through the eyes of the devil. Her stoic and minimalist emotional portrayal is, at times, truly disturbing.
The movie crafts a beautiful MacGuffin in getting us to worry about the Snyder’s daughter, but it doesn’t stay attached to Rosalie, and Daniel becomes the film’s compass. Daniel begins seeing a trench-coated figure wherever he goes, becomes the center of a local cop’s murder investigation, and starts having visions of the town from another time. The Harbinger becomes unfocused, chasing too many ideas during its runtime. There’s a lot to keep track of while the story unravels, and in The Harbinger’s case, it swings wide. While switching gears at one point, it abruptly submits itself to an Indiana Jones ghost story with a cartoonish monologuing villain and uses a Disney musical-like song too. In a way, it kind of has something for everybody. Despite its flaws, I didn’t hate it for what it was trying to do. In fact, many of The Harbinger’s tactics felt similar to those from PG horror films from the ’80s. The Poltergeist films specifically come to mind because, like Carol Anne, the Snyders are also haunted by the supernatural wherever they go. Not to mention both movies share connections to sacred Native burial grounds and Floating Hawk (Bedard) acts as the family’s hands-off Zelda Rubinstein. Still, for a film that roots itself in Native American folklore, it has some undeniable Christian overtones. I suppose that tends to be the case when a film veers into demonic territory, but it is an odd theological mesh.
Some of the feature is incredibly fun, while some of it is head-scratchingly strange, especially as it melds elements of Christianity with mystical Native weaponry. I would still contend to give this indie a chance when it comes out because its journey rides the line between being a commendable horror picture and an out-there B-movie experience. There’s enough mystique within The Harbinger to create a wild and enjoyable ride, even if the end is a bit of a stretch. Regardless, I loved some of the film’s crazy climax, including a stairs-to-hell effect inside a Phantasm-esque location, and I’ll be interested in seeing what the two planned sequels bring in the years to come. If you’re into movies like The Prophecy (1995), The Unholy, and The Possession, I think you should add The Harbinger to your watchlist.
Sean Parker, Horror Obsessive
“Buckle up for some craziness: There is a whole lot of crazy stuff in Harbinger, including Faustian bargains, Native American spiritualism, and honest-to-gosh, the ghosts of 1920s gangsters. Believe it or not, the way they all relate is kind of clever. There are many surprises in the film that are tricky to write-around, in order to avoid spoilers. However, it is maybe okay to give Klipstine and co-screenwriter Amy Mills credit for the notion that different laws apply to lands associated by Native religions and those governed by Christianity—and it just so happens the border between them runs straight through the Snyder’s new town.
Sometimes, The Harbinger is so over-the-top, it only seems to be missing Nic Cage, but Klipstine does his best to Cage-rage in his place. (The Harbinger) repeatedly earns points for originality. Klipstine really goes broke throughout the film…he also never holds back playing Snyder, showing absolutely no fear that he might look ridiculous. You can see the influence of Cage’s work in horror films like THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE and BETWEEN WORLDS. Irene Bedard is also terrific as Floating Hawk. Every time she is on-screen the film gets smarter and more intriguing. Charles Hubbell also chews all kinds of crazy scenery as “Luc,” Satan’s earthly persona.
Opinions will likely vary—drastically, but if you want to see something different, well brother, this absolutely qualifies. Recommended in proportion to your adventurousness, The Harbinger opens today (9/2, in theaters and on demand)
Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins
“ The Harbinger quickly starts lapsing into cliches…Thankfully, The Harbinger’s script takes many of these elements and does some interesting things with them. Yes, we can easily guess who the sinister, shaven-headed Luc (Charles Hubbell, The Soviet Sleep Experiment, Relentless) is, but what is he doing involved with life insurance? And as the bodies continue to fall and the Snyder’s yard is filled with dead animals and messages to kill themselves, their town plays host to ghosts of gangsters and 1950’s housewives. It also manages to draw in both traditional Christian demonology and Native American lore and combine them in an unusual way, via Floating Hawk (Irene Bedard, Spreading Darkness, Ralph Breaks the Internet) a shaman who tells the girl’s parents that only through death can Rosalie be reclaimed. The result of all of this is that The Harbinger becomes an absurd, and absurdly amusing, genre stew.
Fans of Nicolas Cage should get added enjoyment from Klipstine’s performance as he frequently channels everyone’s favourite scenery chewer in his more over-the-top moments. Bedard counters that with a smart, and much less excitable performance and McGraw is creepy with her pigtailed hair and dour pronouncements suggesting a fully evil Wednesday Adams.”
Jim Morrazzini, Voices From the Balcony
“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....Highlights are Rosalie (Madeleine McGraw) & Daniel (Will Klipstine): 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 (Will Klipstine) is the main highlight: 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….what “The Harbinger” does in building up Daniel reminds 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.”
Amari Allah, Wherever I Look
“It can be a confusing watch. Which is not to say it is ineffective. There are some great jump scares and the town has a creepy feel to it. Even before everything goes sideways, it is clear something is not quite right in the town. This adds to the mystery of The Harbinger. You never know who to trust.
The film takes full advantage by telling a twisting story that ends up losing itself. Initially, it feels like a faith based movie before morphing into a thriller that would fit on the Lifetime network. By the final act, it has a feel good vibe that would be right at home on Disney+. It is an odd blend to say the least. The beginning and end of The Harbinger are some of the most family friendly horror seen in years. This is offset with a graphic scene of a child squashing a frog in their bare hand. The performances fit the story perfectly. Some are over the top and silly and bring an almost whimsical quality. Meanwhile, Daniel (Will Klipstine) is a strong character that audiences will find easy to root for. He brings the gravitas that is needed in this type of story. But it is McGraw that is the highlight of The Harbinger…she throws herself completely into the part. She delivers each line perfectly and her dead eye stare is frightening.
Nathaniel Muir, AIPT