A lot of people really rate Ben Wheatley and the films he has produced so far but I just can’t count myself among them. It isn’t that I think his films are bad, it is just that I don’t “get them.” Kill List, for example, was a great movie up until the final twenty minutes or so when things got slightly too crazy and I wasn’t sure what I was watching anymore. The same can be said, in some ways, for Sightseers too.
Sightseers is a very interesting movie. It has two great central performances and the same focus of other Ben Wheatley films, which is the mundane and ordinary, with a spattering of grotesque and horrific. Sightseers ticks that box perfectly and is a sharp, black comedy.
Almost in the same vein as some documentary style sitcoms, Sightseers is ordinary to the point of dull in some cases, for example a trip to the pencil museum or an analysis of the positives of a one person tent carried by a bike, but interspersed with some random acts of violence and horror, and you get an altogether different movie.
Steve Oram and Alice Lowe deliver these random performances very well. He is an ordinary, slightly weird and dull bloke who has a darker edge and she is his doting, obsessive and also slightly crazy girlfriend. It could be any couple if it wasn’t for the murdering.
These moments are perfectly random and unexpected too, getting more and more tense, brutal and accepted as the film progresses. It isn’t about the killing though and is much more about the couple and the difficulties of getting to know the person you are in a relationship with.
Just like Kill List however, the movie doesn’t quite end with any concrete resolution or clear picture. It has an ending that seemingly comes from nowhere and doesn’t really do the rest of the movie justice. At times it feels like I haven’t understood what has gone before or that I haven’t really be paying enough attention to understand the actions of the characters. It sours the rest of the movie, which if not thoroughly entertaining, is never less than interesting.
Overall, Ben Wheatley delivers another movie that I don’t think I’ve understood. It starts pretty straight-forward and delivers some interesting ideas and very bizarre moments, in amongst the more mundane aspects of a dull road trip but then ends with Wheatley’s usual, bizarre fare. It is worth a watch but is beginning to put me off any Wheatley movies in the future.
Rating – 2.5
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)