FREELANCE WRITER. JOURNALIST, AND SCRIPT READER – FILM AND TV RUNNER – FAN OF SCI-FI AND CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVES – YSTV'S BEST DRESSED MEMBER 2013

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

On 18.12.12 by KieronMoore in ,    No comments

It’s a week until Christmas day, the trees are up, the Doctor Who Christmas trailer’s on every night,  the chocolate's making us all sick already. You’re probably looking for a light-hearted, fluffy, cheery romantic comedy to indulge in the festive spirit and distract you from any illness or extended family member that you've somehow gathered already.

In which case, don’t watch Sightseers. (Watch Christmas Love Happens)

From the beautifully twisted mind of Kill List’s Ben Wheatley, Sightseers follows Alice Lowe’s Tina, who runs away from her overbearing mother to go caravanning with new boyfriend Chris (Steve Oram). As they travel the picturesque countryside of t’ North, the darker side of this trip emerges – Chris is a serial killer who can’t help but murder anyone who annoys him, and draws Tina in to this nasty habit.

A love story of two outsiders on a meandering cross-country murder spree, it’s a very British Badlands, the key difference being the very dark sense of humour. The gore and violence isn’t brushed over lightly, but the hilariously disturbing element is the juxtaposition of this with the trivialities that lead to it. For example, beating Shaun of the Dead for the best use of a certain ice cream in cinema ever, the camera focuses on a man struggling to open a Cornetto before dropping the wrapper on the floor of a vintage tram. His disrespect having angered Chris, this man soon finds himself bloodily crushed under the wheels of the caravan.

Despite the pretty locations (and the “wow, I’ve been there” factor, if, like me, you’ve been there), it’s a bleak film, the representation of the British countryside as sparse and dangerous highlighting this contrast between the dark and the everyday. And despite naturalistic yet comedic performances from the two leads, who also wrote the screenplay, the cold tone of the film and its morally questionable characters prevents much in the way of emotional engagement.

So Sightseers isn’t a film that will thrill everyone, but its macabre central concept is played to the extremes, with bleak stylings, witty dialogue and great performances leading to a film that’ll make you laugh incessantly – if you’re of a certain twisted frame if mind, that is.

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