AN UNUSUAL TAKE ON A HOLIDAY IN THE COUNTRY
Sightseers is a dark comedy and is the third feature from British director Ben Wheatley and it’s been a while since I’ve seen a film quite like it. The story follows two characters, Tina (Alice Lowe) and Chris (Steve Oram) as they embark on a tour of rural Britain discovering everything that the countryside has to offer. The trip soon turns sour after a tourist drops his Cornetto wrapper on the floor. This sparks a homicidal rampage from both Chris and Tina. They begin by reversing their caravan over the Cornetto man and from there they escalate their brutal yet hilarious string of murders.
The story feels like a series of episodes where you find yourself wondering who they will kill in this situation and how will they do it. The link between the killings is that Chris, who is a struggling to write, finds his muse in Tina who then decides that murder is Chris’s way of drawing inspiration. So she encourages Chris to kill. Tina also kills in a desperate attempt to get Chris to like her. This concept accompanied by the hilarious dialogue and ridiculous setting takes you on a journey that will have you laughing for days. The killings for Tina and Chris aren’t necessarily a big deal, more of an annoyance against the enjoyment of their holiday. Chris says after running down the Cornetto man that he (the Cornetto man) has “ruined” the tram museum for him.
It’s this kind of character interaction that brings such hilarity to the film. It reminds me of the work or Martin McDonagh on In Bruges or Seven Psychopaths. Although Tina and Chris are both murderers and generally very strange individuals you find yourself truly enjoying their company in the 88 minutes you spend with them.
This film has put Ben Wheatley on the map for me after I was beyond confused with his previous film Kill List. He is without a doubt a unique film maker, one of which we all need to look out for. Another thing I really like about him is that he is a British director making British films.
Follow on Twitter: @DavidSAdamson