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Sightseers

Year: 2012
Studio: StudioCanal
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Amy Jump
Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram

A black comedy so dry it's a good quarter hour before you realise it's even a comedy. Maybe it isn't really one at all, just a social satire with a few jokes. From the brains trust behind A Field in England and Kill List (Ben Wheatley) and with Edgar Wright as an exec producer, it depicts dowdy Tina (Alice Lowe), who has a domineering, prickly mum but who just wants to get on with her life now she's found love with Chris (Steve Oram).

She and Chris plan to go on a caravan holiday around the Midlands, and Tina's not going to let anything stand in her way.

But Chris has a dark secret, and it comes out when they see a guy littering at a campground in the bloodiest, most brutal way possible. Tina doesn't see the first murder... or the second. But Chris can't hide what seems to be either an uncontrollable temper or just a drive to kill for long, and when Tina learns the truth, she still doesn't want it to spoil her holiday.

The pair go on a holidaying and killing spree, shrinking violet Tina soon finding her inner murderer as well when provoked, and we're on a trip like no other.

There are a few broad giggles to be had at the more obtuse gags, but the script and direction by Wheatley is more interested in taking a stereotype (beige-attired English travelers) and sticking a pin in it, along with all the stereotypes Tina and Chris meet. As he explains to her after caving one man's head in with a rock; 'he's not a person, Tina, he's a Daily Mail reader'.

There's an authentic English flavour thanks to the accents and the style of performance, and if you come to Sightseers without any idea what it's about it will skillfully wrong foot you.

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