Sightseers (2012)

Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Amy Jump
Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies
Part of: Viennale

Tina (Alice Lowe) has spent her life taking care of her old, sick and pretty mean mother Carol (Eileen Davies). But then she meets Chris (Steve Oram) and the two of them really hit it off. Chris and Tina decide to go on a sightseeing trip together – just the two of them, a caravan and the major sights in the UK, like the pencil museum. Leaving Carol behind, they are off. But soon things start to go a little sour and Chris has to take drastic and bloody measures to keep the trip from being spoiled.

Sightseers was all over the place, unfortunately. It didn’t feel like they knew where they were going with the story, or even what kind of mood they would like to tell it in. So it swerves from macabre humor to exhausting fighting and neither really pays off.

If the movie had been more consistent in its tone, I think I would have really appreciated it. Especially if the tone it would have stuck to was the macabre humor. Because those funny scenes really were extremely funny and entertained me a lot. But there were too little of those scenes and especially towards the end, Tina and Chris just start fighting too much for my taste and it became pretty annoying and exhausting.

Plus, the story just went nowhere. The whole plot was pretty meh. Not bad, not dumb, but also not exciting or tense or engaging. Though I did enjoy the ending – it was a very nice twist.

Alice Lowe and Steve Oram were really strong in their respective roles but the characters they played were a little flat. They could have both done with a little more fleshing out.

Put altogether I did enjoy myself (and I liked it much better than Wheatley’s first film, Kill List). I just generally saw potential for much more.

Summarising: Okay.

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