Cinema Movie Review: Sightseers (2012)

sightseers-2012-001-chris-and-tina-up-mountain-posing-to-camera_0Natural born killers?

Tina (Alice Lowe) and Chris’s (Steve Oram) idea of a romantic and erotic holiday is loading up their caravan and touring the innards of England for a week.  Some of the titillating stops on this self-proclaimed ‘erotic odyssey’ include tram museums, pencil museums, and viaducts.  Although these places might not stir your loins, it provides plenty of fun for Tina and Chris. However, what begins as romantic travels between these two odd characters quickly escalates into more sinister territory – it seems that they get their jollies in other ways as well.

Tina and Chris have only dated for three months, but are now using this trip as an excuse to see more of each other. After Chris ‘unknowingly’ kills someone with the caravan and is being consoled by Tina, we ask ourselves ‘Did he just smile a little?’  It doesn’t take long afterwards for Tina to find out that Chris is not only fine with having just killed someone, but is actually content, and so is Tina. In fact, they are both quite amused by the whole situation.  We then realize what type of a ride we are in for: a dim-witted Natural Born Killers (1994).

The body count begins to rise, and Tina expands her horizons in helping Chris get rid of annoying travelers.  The two are beginning to understand one another and a real connection ensues.  The director (Ben Wheatley) also uses the couple’s differing personalities to show how they choose to kill people throughout the movie.

At first, we see what causes Chris to react in murderous outrages, when he internalizes his rage and then takes action when the moment arises. He quickly becomes enraged when people make him feel less than adequate.  Whether this is someone’s intelligence, success, or even a lack of interest in trams, Chris’s emotions escalate.  While Chris is more methodical or patient in his killings, Tina tends to let her emotions get the best of her.  When she can’t get Chris to notice her, she kills someone.  When she finds Chris kissing another woman, welp, see ya later lady.  Chris notices this and describes her as a liability, yet he loves her more and more for her actions.

The two continue on their escapades, leaving few clues and little remorse until they come upon a viaduct.  It is here that they make a pact and are going to end it in a good ol’-fashioned Bonnie and Clyde.  Except this isn’t a normal movie about spree killers.

The black comedy genre is always a difficult movie to perfect.  The director heavily relies on the audience to find the irony or layers to jokes they’d normally find offensive or filthy.  For this reason, part of me likes Sightseers as a black comedy, since I was able to see said irony or layers in some of the killings.  However, on the whole, I did not like the film.  Again, there are some funny (in context) and creative deaths in the beginning, but then the killings become more mundane and have less impact.  I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys horror films or is not afraid of a little gore, but not one I’ll be watching with the wifey.

88 mins.

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