Excerpt: Director Ben Wheatley became a touted new name in horror in 2011 with his unsettling thriller Kill List , which won rave reviews out of South by Southwest. Within that film he played with genre conventions and won the admiration of critics who happily admitted they never much cared for horror movies. As his dark comedy follow-up Sightseers gained buzz and earned similar praise, it made me me, an unrepentant horror fan, both curious and nervous.
Excerpt: Taking a much-needed break from her overbearing mum (Eileen Davies) and still grieving for the household’s long-dead dog, wallflower Alice Lowe goes road-tripping through central and northern England with her new boyfriend (Steve Oram). So far, so innocuous—until, seemingly by accident, he runs over a vacationer he’s previously called out for littering a trolley.
Excerpt: In Ben Wheatley's films, everyone is a murderer. Irritable low-level mobsters, harried suburban hit men, persnickety serial killers—these demented egotists are all homicidal, always full of justifications for their brutal acts, and always ready to dispense them after the hammer has fallen.
Conclusion: I tried to like Sightseers , but I could not bring myself to care about its protagonists. The violence and gore are also so over the top that after a while I completely lost interest in the film. In some films they are appropriate. In Sightseers they are not. Maybe some people find other people's awkwardness and misery funny, but I don't. If interested in seeing a good British black comedy, see Robert Hamer's Kind Hearts and Coronets . RENT IT.
Summary: A wicked little road-trip pic in which a tacky couple discovers that cross-country caravanning makes it surprisingly easy -- and fun! -- to knock off the more obnoxious characters they encounter en route.
Conclusion: A uniquely British blend of excruciating comedy of embarrassment and outright grue, not quite as disorientating in its mood shifts as Kill List but just as impressive a film. Whether it ruins Crich Tramway Museum for you or prompts you to recreate Chris and Tina’s pilgrimage to the Ribblehead Viaduct, Wheatley’s film serves as a black-comic state-of-the-nation address.
Summary: Director Ben Wheatley's follow-up to his masterful 2011 thriller Kill List is a much cheerier affair, but fans of the earlier work should appreciate the ultimately all-consuming black comedy on display. More Playing characters they created on stage years earlier, Steve Oram and Alice Lowe both inhabit their roles so effectively you sometimes feel like you're watching a documentary.
Excerpt: "Sightseers" operates on two levels. Skimming along the surface is an everyday romance between two late bloomers and beneath that, with a strong undertow, is a darkly disturbing satire studded with serial crimes. The script is clever, and the characters are sharply observed. Original and almost bordering on bizarre but for the biting social comment woven through the macabre story - this is a hilarious movie. A sight well worth seeing.