Ben Wheatley’s Kill List was one of the most striking British films of 2011. A dark, lean hitman film which takes a wild turn two thirds of the way in, it deserved all the plaudits that came its way and heralded the arrival of a notable new talent in Wheatley. Less than a year after that film’s release the follow up is upon us and features a not dissimilar brand of pitch black comedy and violence. Although with leading comedy production house Big Talk behind this one, it’s no surprise that the comic elements are much stronger in Sightseers.
Alice Owen and Steve Oram play Tina and Chris, a relatively new couple, who decide to take their first holiday together. What starts out as a peaceful and promising sojourn around some of the delights of the UK countryside, including Keswick Pencil Museum and Ribblehead Viaduct, quickly turns into a violent killing spree as Chris’ homicidal tendencies are teased out by the behaviour of his fellow tourists.
Frequently laugh out loud funny, the dialogue between the two leads is pitch perfect, honed over many years as part of Owen and Oram’s stand-up show, where the idea of the film came from. The lack of plot may put off some but the laughs are decent and often as the brutal deaths mount up.
Sightseers is out on November 30th.