Cagoule-clad killers stick knife into caravan holidays

Nov 30, 2012

Ramblers go on a rampage in Sightseers, a film confirming the macabre talent of Ben Wheatley

EVERY so often a new film comes along to remind us that Britain rules when it comes to comic-horror – and it's happened again. The British caravan holiday is the setting for Sightseers, which combines bloodthirsty murder and comedy to perfection and looks set to confirm the young English director Ben Wheatley as a film-maker of "exceptional talent and daring".

Sightseers, which opens today, is the third macabre-but-funny feature from the 30-year-old Essex-born director of Down Terrace and Kill List. Described by The Independent as "grisly, giggly horror", it tells the tale of two ordinary cagoule-clad ramblers who embark on a killing spree after one of them backs his caravan over a litterbug.

The film creates "a strange, creepy universe entirely of itself," says The Guardian's film critic Peter Bradshaw in a four-star review. He is particularly impressed by the "superb, effortless" performances of Steve Oram and Alice Lowe who, as well as starring as the film's homicidal thirty-something introverts Chris and Tina, co-wrote the movie's script.

Sightseers is "a distinctive and brutally unsettling piece of work," says Bradshaw.

The Metro calls the film "2012's most delightfully sinister rom-com, a winning blend of Natural Born Killers and Mike Leigh's Nuts in May. "It's a very British comedy of embarrassment with some knockout gore," the paper says.

The movie website Totalfilm is also impressed, calling Wheatley's film "funny, sinister and strangely moving".

Sightseers has picked up seven nominations from the British Independent Film Awards, including Wheatley as best director, says the BBC. The awards will be handed out on 9 December.

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Sorry, but Ive just seen it and it was frustratingly lacking. The trailer is excellent, but it has the feel of a load of sketches tacked together - great dialogue, interesting characterisation and some very funny moments. However for me it fell flat. The diminishing returns of each murder left me realising that it wasn't going anywhere - just the same idea regurgitated over the film without taking it to any sort of climax. I got the feeling also that the film makers thought the same and as a result the ending seems rather abrupt. Some very funny scenes, but a total lack of direction and any kind of compelling storyline. There's a lot of beautiful and 'arty' photography in it - almost to distract you from the fact that after a promising act 1, it peters out to nothing. Wait until you see it on a plane/ on tv!!

Another trailer that's become a spoiler. Sigh.