Blood and caravans: A review of Sightseers

Sightseers (2012)

Sightseers (2012)


Directed by Ben Wheatley (Kill List, A Field in England)

Written by Alice Lowe and Steve Oram (Additional material Amy Jump)

Starring Alice Lowe and Steve Ora

A British black comedy thriller about a couple on a caravan tour around Britain leaving a trail of bodies in their wake.

Us Brits can do dark twisted very well made comedy better than anyone. I mean we have a pretty good back catalogue for it, ‘In Bruges’, for example, is one of my favorite films and rests right in the groove between dark humor and good direction. A lot of classic British comedy is all about grimness, accepting death or reveling in the mundane. We always accept life at it’s most downbeat and when it comes to death we utilise it so casually as to show it as something you might as well laugh at. Thus it’s no wonder that these sort of films are described as black or dark, we can do it so well that even though it’s something we’ve seen before, we laugh because frankly if you can’t see the light side of death then life is truly morose.

Sightseers was really very good. Sort of exactly what I expected. It was funny but in a casual realistic way, the people are what’s funny not the jokes themselves. There were deaths and each time it made you laugh with the suddenness of it, they were violent, pointless, gory deaths and they didn’t feel forced or out of place because that’s exactly what you expected the film to be.

The cast was nice, vaguely recognisable and not too showy whilst the soundtrack was a great mix of classics (Tainted Love and The Power of Love are the highlights). Ben Wheatley directs this very well, getting the visual sense needed, green and murky England and red blood mix together in shots like they belong and his handle of comedic scenes is in the very dry awkward styled humour we’ve come to know from British comedy.

The story goes from A to B in a nice fluid motion as we rest mainly on Lowes Tina as our central character, starting off as the sane one in the relationship, but as the relationship between her and Orams Chris deepens she become influenced by him. Both characters are as similar as each other and it’s nice to not have anything too exciting happen (No police chases or guns). The film briskly walks you to the final scene, not running full on to any expectant finale but somewhere that entirely feels in tone with the film.

It’s really a film you should probably just see. If you like this sort of dark comedy mixed with little Englanders then i’d definitely give it a go. It’s a fun, surprising, chucklesome, well crafted film that would happily sit on my DVD shelf.

Rating: A- 9/10


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