Good Tidings (2016) Review

goodtidings1GOOD TIDINGS (2016)

Starring Alan Mulhall, Julia Walsh and Claire Crossland

Directed by Stuart W. Bedford

Written by Stuart W. Bedford, Giovanni Gentile and Stu Jopia

“A homeless war veteran with a checkered past must rely on a side of himself once thought buried when he and his companions are targeted by three vicious psychopaths wearing Santa costumes on Christmas Day”.

**Apologies in advance for the terrible Xmas puns contained in this review, you have been warned**

Aside from Halloween, Christmas is the holiday season used most in the horror genre. Is it the constant colour red? The fact that we’re celebrating the birth of the most popular cult leader in the history of the earth? Or is it the fact that it’s all about adults telling their kids it’s absolutely fine a fat guy in a beard is breaking and entering your home while they sleep, and they better be good or else? Either way, I agree. I love the presents, I love the turkey, but there’s something sinister about the season to be jolly.

goodtidings3And it’s created some chilling Christmas crackers too. From Silent Night, Deadly Night to Black Christmas, from the very first A Christmas Carol to Bill Murray classic Scrooged, there have been some quality Yuletide horror flicks. But recently there have been a lot of duff ones, mainly revolving around the Krampus. Honestly. Check them out on the DVD shelves when they are no doubt re-released this December. Or don’t. Because they’re mostly dreck unfortunately.

Which is why it gives me great pleasure to say that Good Tidings is definitely, indisputably one of the better ones in recent years. And it’s BRITISH! Look at us, at it again with the top horror.

Sam (Mulhall) is a stoic war veteran who is surviving on the streets of Liverpool on Christmas Day in an abandoned court with a rag tag group of vagrants. Everything is jolly enough as they make the best with what little they have, until the three of the most insane Saint Nick’s ever to grace the big-screen lock them inside and begin gleefully hunting them all one by one. It seems it no longer matters who’s naughty and who’s nice. As one character states, they’re just cattle, to be slaughtered. But Sam isn’t going down without a fight.

There’s so much for horror fans to love in Good Tidings.

goodtidings2Stuart W. Bedford directs with a keen eye, and together with a witty script makes damn well sure that every scene is either filled with Christmas spirit or buckets of blood. Aided ably by cinematographer Shane de Almeida, he creates some truly iconic frames, and he a great handle on the atmosphere and tension. Add to that some nice and nasty practical FX and a wonderful score by Liam W. Ashcroft that alternates between grind house synth, and a paganist twist on well known Christmas songs that is truly haunting, and you have a very polished package!

The performances are also well above what you expect for a low-budget offering like this. Mulhall had me on the fence at first with his brooding tough guy style, but as the film went on he completely won me over, and was a refreshing change to the usual final girl type we get in slasher films. Claire Crossland was lovely and sympathetic as an ex-heroin addict, and Julia Walsh as the momma bear of the homeless was actually quite heartbreaking. As for our trio of Santas, imagine if the lurching, cackling inbreds from Wrong Turn stumbled upon some Santa gear and you wouldn’t be far off. Brutal, unapologetic and quite mischievous, they were a hoot.

There are faults along the way. Some of the direction seemed limited by the location and space, CGI blood poked its ugly nose in occasionally, the pacing could have been punchier and some of the dialogue was distractingly “Hollywood”. Also, the score on occasion segued into a funky pop synth that was well-intentioned but didn’t hit the right notes for me. But none of this was enough to warrant a lump of coal.

goodtidings4Fun, gripping, often exciting and always entertaining, Good Tidings is the right kind of low-budget horror. Now, what are you waiting for? Put it on your Christmas list!

8/10

Festive Shocker ‘Good Tidings’ to get World Première at the Starburst International Film Festival

good-tidings1The eagerly-awaited seasonal shocker Good Tidings will be receiving its World Première at the STARBURST International Film Festival in Manchester this August .

Yes, Christmas is still a few months away, but we all know how early the preparations get in the shops, etc. each year, so we’re planning to get you in the spirit good and proper with this fantastic stalk-and-slash movie from filmmaker Stuart W. Bedford and writer/producers Stu Jopia and Giovanni Gentile.

The official synopsis is:

A homeless war-veteran with a chequered past must rely on a side of himself once thought buried when he and his companions are targeted on Christmas Day by three vicious psychopaths in Santa suits.’

Liverpudlian writer/producer/actor (who actually plays one of the ‘Three Stooges’ psycho-Santas) Stu Jopia said of the screening, “got the news today and I’m as excited as a kid on Christmas!”

The film will screen during a weekend packed with movies, guests, special events, and some legendary partying. The event takes place at Manchester’s MMU on August 26-29th 2016. Tickets are available at various scales, from full weekend passes to day passes, and even a special family pass that allows 2 adults and 2 children access to the specially-tailored festivities on the Saturday.

Grab your tickets now – weekend and day passes are available – at www.starburstfilmfest.co.uk

 

Good Tidings A Christmas Siege Horror/Thriller Coming Xmas 2016

gt1Good Tidings

A Christmas Siege Horror/Thriller

RELEASED CHRISTMAS 2016

‘Christmas Can Be Killer’
Two-Headed Snake Entertainment are happy to announce that pre-production is underway on the upcoming Christmas themed horror/thriller ‘GOOD TIDINGS’.

The movie draws inspiration from genre classics, taking influence from Black Christmas, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silent Night Deadly Night, Assault on Precinct 13, whilst still harkening to the new breed of horror thrillers like You’re Next, The Devils Rejects and The Purge.

Due for release Christmas 2016. A homeless war-veteran with a chequered past must rely on a side of himself once thought buried when he and his companions are targeted on Christmas Day by three vicious psychopaths in Santa suits. Written and conceived by horror enthusiasts Stu Jopia, Stuart W. Bedford and Giovanni Gentile, who recently penned this years zombie action thriller ‘Apocalypse’ and next year’s monster fuelled H.P Lovecraft inspired horror anthology ‘Dark Continents’.

Shot on a location in a disused courthouse in Southport, Merseyside. Amanda Robertshaw has opened the courthouse doors for the first time and allowed a film crew inside to create this daring 70’s style siege movie.

gt2 Director/Writer Stuart W. Bedford tells us “We’ve always been fascinated by Exploitation movies. Good Tidings is our love-letter to those phenomenal slashers from the 70’s and 80’s, tied together by a festive satire: Christmas is cruel to the poor.” Writer/Producer Stu Jopia says “Christmas themed horror movies are my favourite holiday movies, so much festive fun to be had, and a slasher/siege movie featuring three psychopathic killer Santa’s is exactly what Christmas time has been crying out for.” Producer/Writer Giovanni Gentile adds “There are not enough Christmas slashers out there. It is our mission to add to this genre pool, and have a merry bloody time doing it.”

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