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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Darkmatters Review: Sightseers

Sightseers (15)

Dir. Ben Wheatley

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“I don’t think I could live without Pot Pourri…”

Step this way for a pitch black comedy caravan road trip into the very heart of darkness that beats behind a sensible woollen jumper and ginger beard…

Although they formed part of my childhood, I’ve always had my doubts about folk who do their holidaying in little metal boxes pulled (frustratingly slowly) around the country, but Sightseers blows the Formica lined doors off the homicidal potential of these people.

Ben ‘Kill List’ Wheatley delivers a fantastically nasty but also extremely funny caravan-em-up, which sees oddball British couple Tina (Alice Lowe) and Chris (Steve Oram) cutting a murderous swathe through the lesser-known tourist attractions of the Midlands.

"Death in the air..."

Coming on like a modern day Badlands crossed with Natural Born Killers and The League of Gentlemen, this is an immediate cult comedy-horror classic, which delivers quality shocks and laughs in equal measures. Much like the excellent God Bless America did for the U.S., Sightseers is a very British rant about what lengths a disturbed mind might go to in order to enforce what socially acceptable behaviour is – as long as it’s on their terms. So littering, acting like a Chav or just being a Daily Mail reader is basically to forfeit your life if you cross paths with Chris. It doesn’t take long before Tina proves that she too has a murderous potential and a trail of small-scale murder and mayhem is the result.

Both the leads are superb in their deadpan depiction of two lifelong losers who find unlikely romance – it’s just a shame for most of the people that they meet that this couple is so deeply sociopathic. Sightseers – written by Oram and Lowe and produced by Edgar ‘Shaun of the Dead’ Wright - builds up a excellently low-fi almost inane reality, one that can be readily related to even as the OTT violence escalates. And however unpleasant Sightseers gets, the filmmakers cleverly manage to keep a good balance between the emotional characterisation and disturbing black humour.


Horror fans will be satisfied by the gruesome elements that do not pull any punches, whilst comedy fans will be tickled by the genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Overall it adds up to freakishly fun night out.

Sightseers is certainly not for the faint of heart but it does offer those willing to take a strange, dark and wonderful caravan odyssey, a holiday experience you’ll never forget.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:

ööööö – Dark gruesome fun in a classic Brit style

5 – Never trust a caravaner with a beard!?

Awesomeness ööööö – Daily Mail readers beware!

Laughs öööö – Very funny but you need to 'get' it...

Horror öööö – Serious nasty in parts

Babes öö – Lowe in her home knitted crotchless undies is a sight

Spiritual Enlightenment ö - Casual murder is wrong!?

"Alice Lowe - get's down..."

"Leelee Sobieski - looks the type to be a Sightseer!?"

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