Sightseers was part of the Broadway Cinema Mayhem season a while ago and I was disappointed to have missed it so I was pleased when it arrived in the post from Lovefilm. Without giving any more spoilers than you would get from watching the trailer, Sightseers is a story about a middle aged couple whose stereotypically dull caravan holiday turns into a murder spree across the Midlands and north of England. Unfortunately this film, like a lot of modern comedy films this relies a lot on some really awkward situations that go on for too long for my taste. I’m quite socially awkward myself and watching socially awkward people in awkward social situations on film really isn’t appealing to me. Recently I had to stop watching Carnage which apparently is an excellent film because it was just too awkward and I almost stopped watching The Watch because the whole thing seemed to hinge on the idea the cringe inducing awkward situations, confrontation and pissing into a can was enough to make anyone roll around in the aisles laughing. To be honest I only didn’t walk out of that one because it has Richard Ayoade in it!
Anyway, back to Sightseers, fortunately here the bits in between the awkwardness are funny enough to make up for the awkwardness.
I must say I was expecting more of a madcap kill-a-minute caper across the country with almost slapstick levels of violence. However the film is actually more steady paced.
It was nice to see a film set around some of the tourist destinations in the UK that I remember visiting when I was younger, camping in tents rather than caravans, and also now that I am not so young. Indeed, a couple of weeks after I watched this film we drove past Crich tramway on the way to a long weekend in the Peak District.
The characters seem to suffer a little from lack of motivation, you never really get a sense of understanding in any way why they behave the way that they do. I don’t mean that their every decision should be explained in detail but the characters feel only partly formed. It was nice that the characters weren’t initially introduced and the story just starts allowing the viewer to use their own intelligence to fill in back story etc. but the character development feels a bit too sparse here. This wouldn’t be so noticeable if they had gone for more of a straight comedy or horror film but having opted for a more character driven story it is a shame the characters feel a bit thin.
The ending I have heard described as an amazing twist but I felt it was rather obvious once you realised what was going on at all as very little was explained.
PS. if you haven’t seen Suburban Shootout, go and watch it 😉