Sightseers is a 2012 movie from director Ben Wheatley and was co-written by and starred Alice Lowe and Steve Oram.
Trying to define the genre of Sightseers for someone who has never seen the movie is one that raises problems right from the word go; because it is a strange blend. Without wanting to give too much of the plot away, the film manages to mix romance, adventure, truly dark comedy and murder/crime thriller into one marvellously constructed 88 minute slice of enjoyment.
Some people may be put off by the idea of watching a Ben Wheatley film merely from knowing about the rest of his body of work; such as the confusing yet hugely enjoyable hit man film and cult favourite of 2011, Kill List or his interpretation on deserters from the English Civil war in 2013’s, A Field in England. They shouldn’t worry with Sightseers though. Even though you can clearly see it is a Wheatley film, and features all of his usual stylistic influences, it is his most reined in. He allows the characters on the screen to progress the narrative and lets events unfold, in a rather shocking manner sometimes, at a brisk pace.
As I mentioned earlier, the film is horrendously dark with its comedy, and it is not to everyone’s taste. Serial killing caravaner’s certainly aren’t usually that high on someone’s list when they are thinking about what would make a great movie; but it you think you are in the mood for some dark British comedy then it is certainly one to watch.
The crux of the film rests entirely on Alice Lowe and Steve Oram who carry the characters of Tina and Chris brilliantly. Due to the fact that they both wrote and starred as the main characters they were able to pull off the performances so well. By creating them they knew exactly how they were supposed to act throughout the film; I doubt it would have worked so well with a different pair of actors.
I cannot recommend this film highly enough and it’ll certainly make you think twice about dropping litter at a national heritage site again!