Sightseers

Sightseers

Directed by: Ben Wheatley
98 minutes

New England Premiere


Chris (Steve Oram) is a presumably normal guy taking his sheltered, timid new girlfriend Tina (Alice Lowe) on a vacation in a caravan across the United Kingdom. Despite the shrill protests of Tina’s cantankerous and domineering mother, the two mark destinations like the Crich Tramway and Keswick Pencil museums on their map and embark on their adventure.

The trip begins as tepidly as the destinations imply, but before long, Tina learns that Chris adheres to a very strict sense of morality. When confronted by others who do not follow his code, Chris takes strong, sudden, and irrevocable action. Emboldened by his example, the once-meek Tina begins to right her own grievances with those she encounters decisively. Soon the pair is leaving a merciless trail of violence in their wake.

Director Ben Wheatley’s (DOWN TERRACE, Narrative Grand Jury Prize Winner IFFBoston 2010; KILL LIST) third feature film is a wickedly dark comedy based on the screenplay conceived by Oram and Lowe. Wheatley nimbly sets a tone and pace that showcase the lead actors’ superb talents. The duo ably conveys the evil and malevolence that lurk beneath the mundane. Lowe’s portrayal of Tina on her remarkable journey along a grim, perverse road to empowerment is a testament to her vast skills as a performer. SIGHTSEERS serves up a vicious social commentary with brutal edges that is also plain hilarious.

—Nancy Campbell