TIFF 2012 Highlights: Sightseers

TIFF 2012 Highlights: Sightseers

Worth It
Sep 17, 2012
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Ben Wheatley is a relatively new director from the UK. He wowed the TIFF audience last year with Kill List, rehabilitation a gruesome, read more often brilliant and completely controversial horror movie. This year he comes back with a decidedly funnier and less gruesome (albeit extreme when the violence happens) film, Sightseers.

Chris and Tina are a 30-something couple. They are a homely, sad-sack pair set out on a much needed road trip holiday. As they travel the english countryside in their “caravan” (RV to North American Audiences), Chris begins to find the rude and careless folk around them unbearable. After accidentally running over a fellow tourist (who also happens to be the object of Chris’ anger and rage), the two get a taste for bloody justice. Soon Chris and Tina are a serial-killer “Bonny and Clyde”, of sorts, as they murder anyone who pisses them off along their travels.

Sightseers is constantly funny. The dynamic between Chris (Steve Oram) and Tina (Alice Lowe) is rare, real and raucous. Ben Wheatley does a brilliant job at accelerating the emotions layered over a simple premise. The madness of murder spirals out of control from one assault to the other and eventually the couple are at odds. Tina starts taking the bloodletting to random extremes. Chris finds this to be pure chaos, way beyond what he initiated. And soon their romance begins to fall apart. Of course I won’t give away the ending but the dark humour escalates to an unexpected conclusion that made me laugh out loud (literally) as the credits rolled.

Sightseers is a truly unique, outrageous and wickedly delightful dark comedy that keeps you glued to your seat the whole time. The acting is perfect. The writing is original and hilarious. The violence is over-the-top and uncomfortably giddy, to boot. Sightseers doesn’t just take the audience on a picturesque journey across the English countryside. It also drags them along to witness a delightful and disturbing relationship that speeds out of control to a bloody fantastic end.

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Craig the Critic

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