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Sightseers Review

by Sam Gilbert

Director: Ben Wheatley

Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Tony Way

Running Time: 88 minutes approx.

Certificate: 15

Synopsis: When a couple take a sightseeing caravan tour across the UK, events take a very wrong and dark turn…

SIGHTSEERS, directed by KILL LIST visionary Ben Wheatley, crawls through the undergrowth of Britain’s hidden tourist attractions to discover a brooding evil in the form of lead character Chris. Fleeting moments at the beginning introduce us to the equally unhinged Tina and her whinging mother, before Chris whisks Tina away to see ‘his world’, a gentle trip through the back-roads of England to delight in museums, caravans and extraordinarily unholy methods of venting one’s spleen.

Wheatley truly excels in framing this dark story within breathtaking panoramas of the British countryside (just when the November weather may have you considering escaping Blighty). The script, written by stars Oram and Lowe, is chockfull of belly laughs and twisted I-really-shouldn’t-be-enjoying-this moments, the kind that are reminiscent of PSYCHOVILLE or MONKEY DUST. Having the added advantage of writing the characters themselves, the leads are pure British comedy genius – blackly comic and instantly unforgettable.

There’s also support from the brilliant soundtrack, a heady mixture of classic power-pop ballads and sweet, quixotic violins, providing a reflective irony that only heightens the mood and keeps the laughter on cue. The realistic effects also add a layer of both humour and horror to the grislier scenes.

With its perfectly realised postmodernist black humour and surreal romance, SIGHTSEERS is a contender for 2012’s best film. If you don’t enjoy it, you likely haven’t been on a caravan holiday in your life. And seeing this film isn’t going to inspire you to take one either. Think ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE MIDLANDS in a head-on (caravan) collision with NATURAL BORN KILLERS, and you’re almost there.

SIGHTSEERS is in UK cinemas nationwide from Friday 30th November.

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