When Chris (Steve Oram) convinces his sheltered girlfriend, Tina (Alice Lowe) to go on holidays in his caravan, things don’t go according to plan as the dream holiday pushes Chris over the edge, revealing a murdering psychopath. As this side of Chris is exposed, the couple continue on with their adventure through caravan sites and countrysides.
The dark humor is played with a straight face, and any interactions between Chris and Tina and other characters are quite hysterical. Even though these two are horrible at their core, they encounter situations we’ve all been familiar with, but never had the guts to cut lose and unleash our inner demons; this is the appeal factor, the thing that makes us root for the duo. There’s also something beautiful and childlike about the couple as we see them visit various locations, acting like young sweethearts. You forget about the chaos, and for a moment, you think you’re invested in a true love story. I liked those different approaches to Tina and Chris – they are not simply black or white, but very much grey.
Sightseers never pushes itself to the point of unbelievability, even with all the madness that takes place. I think this is due to the rural locations and the stereotypical people that accompany them. The camera and lighting also has a natural feeling that adds a layer of authenticity through the cappers of this couple.
Ben Wheatley’s style floats around; like I’ve mentioned, it’s got a grounded tone, but there’s wonderful stylized shots when one of the characters explode. The cinematography’s subtle changes work perfectly even when we do get those fancy flings.
I’ve read many reviews where people refer to this as a comedy horror and I strongly disagree. A lot of films have deaths, but are they instantly called horrors? No. Sightseers has it’s deaths, even one or two gruesome ones, but that does not mean it’s a horror. This is a dark comedy – if you want horror comedy, watch An American Werewolf in London or The Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn.
Sightseers does lag in a during a few scenes that could’ve went towards some development in other areas, but I easily overlooked that due to laughing from start to finish.