Film Review: Sightseers

A dull black comedy, Sightseers is a letdown. There are no real laughs to be found in Ben Wheatley’s film.

Despite her mother’s remonstrations, Tina is excited about her trip with boyfriend Chris. He intends to show Tina his world by taking her on a caravan tour. When something goes wrong early on, events take an unusual turn…

Ben Wheatley’s Kill List was not perfect, but it was a promising film. Sightseers, however, does not work at all. As a black comedy, Sightseers simply is not funny. There is not one line or incident that will generate more than a slight titter. The pinpointed jokes are not funny.

With the absence of humour, Sightseers needed a decent story to fall back on. Unfortunately the film fails on this count too. The narrative is dull, it never really goes anywhere, or builds to any heightened finale. The film never fully engages the audience as a result. Sightseers has a mundane beginning, then a twist to proceedings. After this, however, it just plods along until the film reaches its conclusion.

There are some rather graphic depictions in Sightseers. The film is certainly not for the squeamish. Even the acts of violence do not bring any macabre comedy though. The film uses some well known songs, but these do little for the non-existent mood. Performances by Alice Lowe and Steve Oram are fine, it is a pity their screenplay was so lacking.

Sightseers starts off with an aggravating opening sequence and does not really improve from this. One to avoid.

Sightseers is being screened at the London Film Festival in October 2012.