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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Wednesday June 12th 2024

Sightseers

06-sightseers_4Sightseers (2013)

*****

“Sightseers”

Cast: Alice Lowe (Tina), Steve Oram (Chris), Richard Glover (Martin), Eileen Davies (Carol). Running time: 88 minutes. Country: UK. Director: Ben Wheatley.

Studio Canal 

Drama/Thriller/Dark Comedy 

“Sightseers” is an uneasy comedy intertwined into one of the darkest of comedies. Mean-spirited is the order of the day from beginning to the end.

One can be cynical saying what a “lovely” couple, Chris (Steve Oram) and Tina (Alice Lowe) are, taking a clue from Alice”'s invalid mother (Eileen Davies) who frowns on her and her new boyfriend. Chris and Tina jump into his van for a “vacation”. Carol blames her daughter for the accidental death of her dog “Poppy”.

The parking lot incident when Chris hurriedly backs out killing a pedestrian is considered an accident by the courts. Yet there”'s a sinister quality in Chris”'s face after the fatal accident making us chary of what is to come.

At a park site Chris and Tina nab a small dog (he looks somewhat like “Poppy”) from a couple after Chris “conveniently” pushed the man over the cliff. Next, after a tourist complains that Tina didn”'t pick up the dog”'s excrement, the tourist is bludgeon to death by Chris while Tina seems unmoved by what just happened. “Sightseers” reminds me, to a large extent, of “Honeymoon Killers” (1969), directed by Leonard Kastle in full black and white, starring Shirley Stoler and Tony Lo Bianco. Running at a much slower pace but leaving death on the trail “Sightseers” like Oliver Stone”'s “Natural Born Killers” is naked deathly narcissism. “Sightseers” is well acted, with good dialogue; disturbing and unpredictable in many ways.

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