They have not been together very long when Chris (Steve Oram) decides it’s time to take his beloved girlfriend Tina (Alice Lowe) away for a holiday in the North Of England, to show her his passions and hopefully share them together. Heading away with their caravan, they are only their first day in when a litterer annoys Chris, so much so that later in the day he get’s the opportunity to teach the litterer a lesson, that lesson ends in the mans death. Upset and broken by the killing, Chris and Tina continue on their holiday, but it’s not long before death strikes again. It seems as if the bond of death could bring the couple even closer, as the habit of killing creeps into their everyday lives.
Ben Wheatley has carved himself a niche in the UK cinema market, his body laden debut feature Down Terrace was a work of pure genius, last year Kill List shocked audiences with it’s ferociousness and emotion-free nature. Now in Sightseers we see that same level of darkness bought to the screen again, but this time with the addition of some hysterical comedy. If Down Terrace or Kill List endeared this instant filmmaking expert to the audience, Sightseers will cement this; Ben Wheatley is without a doubt THE director to watch this decade.
Wheatley cannot take all the praise here, Because Chris and Tina are very much the creation of Oram and Lowe who have carried these characters with them for years, and were pointed in the direction of Wheatley when they chose to take the story of these bloodlust lovers to the big screen. The performances these two bring to the screen is delightful, if you can call malicious killers delightful.
It should be added Chris and Tina are not random killers, their victims all do something to deserve their demise, and I think in our hearts their outcome is the outcome many of us might prefer if met with the same circumstances. Some deaths, like that of Tina’s mums dog, are not really of their doing, it was simply a victim of their lack of attention.
The comedy in the movie is great, and not just revolved around killing, whether it’s Tina’s self made knitted underwear which includes open crotch knickers, or just their blatant disregard of normal behavior.
Despite it’s rather contemporary subject matter, there is something really quite classic about the feel of Sightseers, I’m not sure if any of the above would like the comparison, but it certainly has a slight “Carry On” feel about it, a profoundly 70’s classic British comedy experience.
Sightseers is wrong on so many levels, and that is what makes it so good. If you get the chance to see this movie you really should.
Sightseers is in currently showing as part of the London Film Festival, and will be released in UK cinemas on November 30th.
Please come back to this site in a few days for an interview with Ben Wheatley, Alice Lowe, and Steve Oram.