If the confrontational Kill List placed Ben Wheatley among British cinema’s most incendiary new talents, this latest exercise in ultra-black comedy and squirm-inducing social observation certainly confirms it. If the idea of blending, say, Mike Leigh’s Nuts in May with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, seems like an unlikely combination, what’s striking about Sightseers is how Wheatley takes two social misfits and their mobile home on a trip round some of Britain’s most pitiful tourist attractions, then creates a seemingly inexorable logic as their misadventures turn into the stuff of outright horror.
The film’s writers Steve Oram and Alice Lowe also play the utterly unprepossessing Chris and Tina to telling comic effect, drawing out the dark undercurrents lurking within such seeming exemplars of ordinariness. As with Mike Leigh’s work, there’ll be some debate whether the story actually patronises its shambling protagonists, but there’s no denying the utter ferocity of the humour in a film surely bound for cult status. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)
On the occasion of the release of Sightseers, showing December 1st – 13th, we’re pleased to provide audiences with the opportunity to revisit director Ben Wheatley’s previous films: Down Terrace (December 8th, 14.30), and Kill List (December 9th, 15.30).