Sightseerers film review
Sightseers is weird but good weird. It’s the story of a couple who go on a caravan holiday around beauty spots in the north of England and carry out a string of murders along to way. It’s a bit like one of those low budget Brit films where everyone sits about and has awkward social interactions, only with violent murders scattered throughout the film. It’s a strange mix but I have to say it works pretty well.
It was made with a low budget but if anything the limitations this brings have made the film better. As it seems that you can do anything with CGI these days, it’s nice to see old fashioned special effects and slightly more home spun techniques.
The acting is good and the story progresses with a good pace, with some sort of horrific (and usually blackly funny) event never too far around the corner.
The film has this odd balance between low-fi melodrama and slasher horror which is unusual to see but at the same time doesn’t feel completely wrong. If I was going to compare it to something it would be a slapstick Shane Meadows film. I say this because the average Shane Meadows film also balances realism with terrible violence but doesn’t have the same knowing humour to it.
The story works because of the two main characters and the chemistry they create when they’re on screen together. It’s never really explored but it’s suggested that couple have fairly recently got involved in a relationship and they describe their trip as a “sex odyssey”. I wouldn’t get too excited though, while there are plenty of sex scenes, there’s nothing very sexy about them.
The film gets skirts towards becoming completely ridiculous at times but manages to avoid descending into complete farce and I think this is mainly due to the complete conviction by the actors. Because they play it completely straight it helps to maintain the surreal edge without being completely silly.
The film comes in at just under an hour and a half which is just the right length for this sort of film. The DVD comes with plenty of deleted scenes, so it could have been longer, but I’m pleased that the editing was ruthless as it made it an enjoyable fast moving story. I enjoyed the film but there wasn’t enough in the story to justify any longer.
I’ve tried to avoid spoilers so far and think I’ve just about managed it (the murders are foreshadowed in all the promotional stuff about the film, so I’m safe to talk about them). It’s impossible to describe the final moments of the film without giving away the twist but I’ll only say that I found it a satisfying and unexpected way to close the film.
Rating – 4 stars
There’s not a massive amount of substance to this film, it’s not going to change your life but it will keep you fully engaged for 90 minutes and it’s a good fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. If Alan Bennett wrote films about serial killers then it would look something like this.
You can get Sightseerers from Amazon.co.uk