Sightseers DVD Review


      Actors: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram
  • Director: Ben Wheatley
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: December 10, 2013
  • Run Time: 88 minutes


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            The relentlessly bleak nature of the violence in Ben Wheatley’s Kill List made it a difficult film to enjoy, which may explain the filmmaker’s choice to go for a more comic edge in his latest film, Sightseers. There is still a large amount of violence and gore, though it is boldly applied in a darkly comic manner. Blending a road trip narrative with a serial killer storyline, this is something like Arthur Newman meets Natural Born Killers.

     

            Chris (Steve Oram) has a plan to take his new girlfriend on a vacation in a motor home. Tina (Alice Lowe) has been something of a recluse ever since a tragic accident with her dog, and it has left her somewhat unhinged. Road trips and vacations with new couples can often be eye-opening, revealing truths previous able to be hidden, and this can destroy a relationship which is not stable enough to withstand this trial-by-fire. This is the case with Chris and Tina, who have only been dating for a few months. This is not long enough for Tina to discover that Chris is a serial killer with specific targets of poor social etiquette.

     

            What begins as an ‘accidental’ death in a parking lot turns into a full-on spree against all who irritate the couple on their journey. Though the storyline remains fascinatingly compelling due to the sincerest of performances from the two leads, Wheatley does not shy from giving us graphic deaths along their journey. Most of these are skulls being crushed on the rocks of famed locations in Northern England, including the Ribblehead Viaduct. Although there are issues of social malaise engrained in the killing habits of Chris, one of the final deaths also proves there to be a class struggle amidst the violence as well, placing Sightseers in direct descent of films such as Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).

     

            The DVD special features include interviews and a theatrical trailer for the film.

     

           

           

    Entertainment Value: 7.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 7.5/10

    Historical Significance: 6/10

    Disc Features: 4/10

     

     

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