Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Good Tidings

of 7 viewers "Liked" "Good Tidings" (UK, 2016)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Lord Battle - "I love a good mean spirited Christmas horror and Good Tidings is like taking the lovable bums from Street Trash, putting them into Precinct 13, located in the Silent Night Deadly Night universe, and making them square off with a much "naughtier" version of the trio from Wrong Turn. If it weren't for the 3rd act dragging on, I'd merrily give it 4 stars." - 3.5 Stars

The Impostor - "Holiday horror is a favorite sub genre of mine, especially Christmas horror. While every year we get a few indie low budget films around the holiday season, only rarely are many of them worth a yearly watch. That all changes this year with Good Tidings. It's definitely one to add to your holiday horror list. The Santa trio reminded me of the three inbred cannibals from the Wrong Turn series dressed up in Santa suits. I felt the pacing dragged in a few spots but overall very entertaining film. I look forward to owning it when it's finally released." - 3.5 Stars**

Clark Little - "I'm not a big fan of the "slasher" movie. But every once in a while, this sub-genre gets elevated and I jump on the bandwagon. Good Tidings is not that movie. The Christmas spin and the cretinous, slasher Santas add a flair to a dull premise and it almost made me not fall asleep. Which is a big compliment. I fall asleep often. I need to see my doctor." - 2.5 Stars**

Huntress - "Obvious indie setbacks aside, Good Tidings was a great addition to the Christmas horror sub genre. One interesting choice the filmmakers made was coldly introducing us to the villains before anyone else, and in a potentially sympathetic, although still awful, situation. And while almost all sympathy for these Santa suit wearing madmen fades soon after, some sympathy remains when you find out who the real mastermind is. Oh and these are easily some of the creepiest Santas I've ever seen in a movie." - 3.5 Stars

Dabbles - "Another holiday film. The acting is great. Production work gets an "A", and the writing - so good. The only thing is the pacing." - 3 Stars

The Great Hornito - "The opening scene of Good Tidings had me a little scared I was gonna watch a goofy trio movie but the next scene really set the tone for a surprisingly good Christmas survival slasher. Good Tidings was suspenseful, the acting was good, and the characters felt like real life people. All in all it was an awesome Wrong Turn Christmas movie." - 4 Stars

KillDozer - "Writer/director Stuart W. Bedford brings to the screen a holiday tale for those who like the opposite side of the holiday spirit. This Santa slasher brings to mind classics like Clown House,and Tales From the Crypt's "All Through the House". The character design of our insane Santas is amazing and fun. This is a Christmas horror that stays true to the season in every way and is not just a cheap way to cash in on the recent holiday horror boom. The characters are well played and I can honestly say I was sympathetic toward each of their situations in life before the carnage begins. I appreciated the way clever tricks were used to play out each kill while still leaving something to the imagination. Solid editing but a weird score that threw me off a few times along with the pacing that felt slow toward the end. All in all this is a solid indie Christmas horror film that is perfect for any family gathering. Round up some friends grab some popcorn and settle in with a film that lives up to it"s tag line "Christmas can be a killer"." - 3 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

(Below is for after you've seen the film)

Why do we sympathize for the homeless during the Holiday season? Is it the lack of decorations? Maybe it's the idea of not having a holiday feast with the family? Or we can be honest with ourselves and acknowledge the extreme lack of gifts that no one should have to put up with. If horror films are created to exercise our fears though terrible situations that are ultimately resolved in about 90 minutes, then holiday horror movies are terrible situations that should relate to the holiday. Now if Christmas is a holiday about family and giving gifts, then Good Tidings may be the most hard hitting Christmas horror to date.
The Overlook Theatre haunts the San Francisco Bay Area, where many homeless live, but are well taken care of (arguably). The community portrayed in Good Tidings is far from what it looks like here, to a certain extent. The thing about most homeless people is that they choose to be homeless. Obviously this isn't true for everyone but the situations portrayed in Good Tidings are very real. Ex-cons, recovering addicts, and people with mental illness make up the population or surrogate family of Good Tidings.
After our screening concluded there was one conversation that dominated our post film discussion and that's the motivation of the Santa trio. Now in the credits they acknowledged the group with names of the Three Stooges. This however shows through in their mannerisms so I doubt the reference goes beyond that.
My favorite theory was that these three were at one time members of this community, but ultimately turned away because they are evil incarnate, not unlike Michael Myers himself. This theory is supported by our opening scene which could easily be showing us the newly rejected trio committing their first murderous act and discovering they like it. Also finding the suits would be a great reason to launch a very personal assault against a bunch of derelicts.
 I personally still feel there is a darker subtext beneath those Santa masks. I think they represent the abused and abandoned, either with severe trauma or mental illness, and are now lashing out at those who could have the picture-esque Holiday-greeting-card type of Christmas they've always wanted, but have squandered it for a vice.

(Be sure to check out our interview with writer/producer/actor Stuart Jopia here.)

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a special screening on  9/8/2016
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.
**Viewed the film remotely, which may have impacted the reviewer's opinion.

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