Quickfire Review: Sightseers (2012) – Bad Midlands

Synopsis: Chris wants to show girlfriend Tina his world, but events soon conspire against the couple and their dream caravan holiday takes a very wrong turn.

My Take


Ben Wheatley is quickly carving a place for himself at the table of the most exciting British directors working today, along with the likes of Shane Meadows (Dead Man’s Shoes), Duncan Jones (Moon), Joe Wright (Atonement) and Gareth Edwards (Monsters). With Sightseers, his follow up to the oppressively dark Kill List, he demonstrates a keen natural talent for comedy. Not so much black comedy, as a void of light. This is British dry absurdist comedy at it’s best.

Sightseers is the classic story of star crossed, damaged lovers forging a path of devastation as they discover the destructive nature of their love for each other. In that way it is very much like Terence Malik’s noir masterpiece Badlands. In every other way though it could not be more different. In place of the James Dean cool of Martin Sheen and his young naive lover Sissy Spacek you have ginger bearded loser Chris (Steve Oram) and knitted crotchless pantie wearing dog enthusiast Tina (Alice Lowe). And rather than forging an aimless path of destruction across the eerie plains in an iconic American muscle car, they are headed on a caravanning holiday around the North West of England in their 2005 Volvo V50. The only thing they have in common is the trail of bodies they leave behind.

Written by it’s two stars Oram and Lowe, Sightseers is a genuinely laugh out loud funny comedy about things getting out of hand in the calmest way possible. People are dispatched with gruesome ease because of littering offences, dog poo and just running in the wrong place. The lead performances are delivered with deadpan perfection and the film is littered with one liners and sight gags that had me laughing so hard I had to pause the film to catch my breath. Executive produced by Edgar Wright, he can only have wished that World’s End could have been this funny.

Conclusion:  Like Shane Meadows filtered through the Farrelly Brothers, Sightseers is in my top 10 films I have seen in 2013. Having never been on a caravanning holiday, I’m never going on one now.

Verdict: 9/10


Cast: Steve Oram, Alice Lowe, Eileen Davis, Jonathon Aris, Tony Way, Richard Lumsden, Richard Glover

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