We're headed into the holiday season, kicking off with every #horror fan's favorite: Halloween. But as The Nightmare Before Christmas proved, a little Xmas spirit can go a long way in October.
While Hollywood seems to be cranking out horror reboots and sequels lately, a majority of them haven't been as successful as we would hope. Most fans (including myself) have begun branching out and exploring more independent, low-budget horror releases and I recently got lucky with a Christmas-themed horror film from the United Kingdom.
Good Tidings is a horror film set for release on Christmas Day 2016 that comes from filmmakers Stu Jopia, Stuart W. Bedford and Giovanni Gentile, who recently released a zombie-action thriller called Apocalypse. It's first screening at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival and the Grindhouse Planet Film Festival, and it follows a trio of killers in Santa costumes as they unleash havoc on a small commune of homeless adults trying to celebrate Christmas day.
"There are not enough Christmas slashers out there," Gentile said in a press release. "It is our mission to add to this genre pool, and have a merry bloody time doing it."
Good Tidings really is a cruel turn of events for a bunch of people who are already down on their luck, but shining in the face of adversity is often what we love about horror films — and you will love this movie if you're a fan of the horror genre. Whether it's creepy, crazy villains or the unlikely heroes we are introduced to, there are a number of elements Good Tidings brings that are worth talking about. Let's get started!
It's Holiday-Themed Horror
We all love to see horror movies centralized around Halloween, but it's a nice change of pace when horror is played around other holidays as well. Good Tidings is one of these movies. We've seen Christmas-themed horror movies with attempts like Silent Night, Black Christmas and Santa's Slay, but I feel like Good Tidings is one of the better Christmas horror offerings we've gotten.
The Music Is Well-Composed And Utilized
Music and film go hand in hand, especially within the horror genre. Whether it's accompanying a jump scare or making you feel more unsettled, there are a lot of roles that music and sound effects play in a horror movie.
What makes the music in Good Tidings interesting is the blend of styles. Seeing how this is a movie set during Christmas, the mixture of classic horror elements and holiday songs is an interesting twist, and gives you something recognizable and new. I really enjoyed listening to the music elements because in addition to being fun to listen to, it really matched the events of the film nicely, much like Danny Elfman's did for The Nightmare Before Christmas.
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It Features Unlikely Heroes
You usually can find a pretty diverse mixture of protagonists when it comes to the horror genre. However, I don't think I've seen a film with a protagonist group quite like the one in Good Tidings. Although we have typical bloodthirsty antagonists (even if they are dressed like Santa), a commune of homeless adults as your heroes is a bit of a twist. Seeing characters who literally have nothing bond together as family and protect each other is oddly inspirational. It shows us that even in the worst possible situation, you can always have a team.
The Gore Level Is On Point
What good is a horror movie without some blood and guts, right? Although Good Tidings isn't an overly gory movie, the gore elements that are present are utilized quite well. In addition to creepy, bloody Santa costumes, you are treated to some stabbings, people being impaled and some heads being chopped right off.
Despite the intensity of the gore at times, I didn't feel that it was overdone and simply for shock value. Unlike movies such as Hostel or Saw, you're not seeing the human body brutalized in an unnecessarily horrific way. The kills and torture in Good Tidings are still kept on a realistic plane and I appreciated that a lot.
After watching this movie, I'm feeling reassured about the future and promise of the independent horror genre, and think we have plenty left to look forward to. Happy holidays, one and all!
Interested in checking out Good Tidings? Keep your eyes peeled for the Christmas 2016 release from Two-Headed Snake Entertainment.