- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: Sightseers

Also known as:

Year: 2012

Genre: Comedy / Crime / Adventure / Thriller

Language: English

Runtime: 88 min

Director: Ben Wheatley

Writer: Alice Lowe & Steve Oram


Chris and Tina, a new loving couple, go on a road trip vacation together with a caravan. He wants to show her everything that is to offer out there, but eventually his big secret is revealed as well: he's a murderer. If people annoy him, they're about to die. Tina's love can't be broken by something tiny as that, and so their relationship grows stronger - albeit more complicated.

Our thoughts:
Ben Wheatley is growing on me after "A Field in England". I did not care for "Kill List" due to how silly the ending was, but between "A Field in England" and now "Sightseers" I think he's actually quite an interesting filmmaker. It appears that "Kill List" was the exception to the rule, though I enjoyed the mix of genres in it. "Sightseers" is his comedy, a light-hearted but black comedy about love, murder and... caravaning.

Despite her mother's wished that she stay away from Chris, Tina is going on a caravan vacation with her new love. He's used to traveling and seeing things, so he wants to take her along on a lovely vacation in England. After being bugged by a fat man who throws trash on the floor while they're on a tramway museum tour, he "accidentally" backs him over with the caravan on the way from there. This is just one of many people that Chris has murdered, and it's far from the last. Tina is soon aware of what Chris is up to, but instead of getting scared and running away, she's soon convinced that what he is doing is a good thing. Even though they are now on the same page and closer than ever, this starts a series of conflicts between the two that might jeopardize the relationship.

You can tell with Ben Wheatley's movies that he's pushing it quite a lot to make strange movies, which can be a bit annoying when you think about it too much, but this one was far more "normal" than the previous flicks of his. That said, a problem with this movie is that it feels rather monotonous. It has one note and sticks to the similar jokes throughout. She's weird and he kills. It's not so bad that you won't enjoy it, I still love black comedies and found it highly amusing, but it's not a comedy classic that I'll be remembering for years to come. Still, I always appreciate black comedies as they're a break from the overpopulated comedy genre which often has me furious from how typical they are. If you can laugh at rather morbid jokes and murder, then odds are that you'll have enough fun with this to enjoy it.

The character of Tina might get on your nerve a bit, but you have to realize that if she was a sane person she wouldn't be okay with Chris' murders. Obviously. So the fact that she's needy and slightly mental helps sell the point that she goes along with the killings. But yes, at times I wanted to break her neck. Yet I sort of liked them both, I was fine with being on either person's side once there was trouble in paradise. I imagine one of the things that will bug people is how annoying Tina can be at times, but it worked pretty well for me.

There are a few violent moments, but it's not something you'll take too much notice of except for the fact that it's a comedy with vicious murder scenes. The effects are nice, but you'd expect that from Ben Wheatley's movies by now anyway. The kills aren't the highlight of the movie, to me it was fun watching the couple meet new people more than seeing the kills.

"Sightseers" ends on a rather predictable note, but overall I had a good time while watching the movie. Ben Wheatley's pushing to make his movies odd but it kinda works. I'm a general sucker for black comedies so it's easy for me to have open arms for movies like this one, though this isn't one that will stick with me as much as "Ed and His Dead Mother" and a few others have. I'd recommend it for those with a morbid sense of humor and a generally dark outlook on things, but wouldn't question you if you're annoyed by it as well.

Positive things:
- I dig black comedies.
- Whenever the couple met new people I was excited to see how they'd be getting along.
- Violent kills and good effects.

Negative things:
- Predictable ending.
- The comedy is rather monotonous.
- Tina's pretty annoying at times.

Gore: 2.5/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 3/5
Effects: 3.5/5
Comedy: 2.5/5

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