Sightseers: Three months into any relationship and couples are still trying to find out what makes each other tick.
At this point for Sightseers Chris (Steve Oram) wants to show girlfriend Tina (Alice Lowe) his world by taking her on a caravan holiday around the green and pleasant land of the Lake District with sights including the Crich Tramway Museum, Ribblehead Viaduct and the Pencil Museum, places that have made me feel like taking a trip there, too.
However, I won’t be following precisely in Chris’ footsteps for reasons that will become obvious.
Tina lives with her Mum, Carol (Eileen Davies), who’s never forgiven Tina for the death of their dog Poppy, a year earlier, this happening despite Tina have a National Diploma in Dog Psychology. You can see Chris getting wound up early on when he sees a man drop a Cornetto wrapper on a tram floor (Tony Way), on purpose, despite being incredibly patient with Tina’s mother at the start when he observed she had a liking for snow globes – by way of getting her a souvenir from their trip – only for her to harp back: “I don’t like you!”
Anyone who’s seen the trailer will know that the hook for Sightseers relates to Chris being a serial killer. Where it started in his life, who can tell, but early on in the film when they accidentally run the aforementioned litterbug over as Chris reverses his caravan in the car park and kills the man because he stepped out without looking, Chris clearly isn’t sorry it happened. Once Tina discovers Chris’ ‘hobby’, for want of a better word, the film is about how their relationship proceeds from there.
Later you see them wanting a look round another couple’s caravan, Ian and Janice (Jonathan Aris and Monica Dolan), who they beat to the best spot at the caravan site – leaving the losers to set up by the toilets, but their request can’t be turned down due to the fact that, in general, the British don’t want to appear rude even if they hate the people they’re having to be nice to. In addition, when they murder one rambler (Richard Lumsden) and Tina ponders the process of killing an innocent man, Chris replies perfectly, “He’s not a person, Tina, he’s a Daily Mail reader.”
There are great performances from all concerned, although the pace does slacken at various points throughout the film – even though it has a short 88-minute running time, so even with the thought of Tina’s knitted crotchless panties in your mind for some time, this is definitely a must-see.
It’s a shame that cinema chains, such as Odeon, barely touched it when it came out. It should’ve been given a full day’s screening for the first two weeks at all across the chain. It’s quite sad when it was relegated to a few cinemas only, whereas the likes of Skyfall was on at least four screens at the same time! Then again, the likes of Cockneys Vs Zombies didn’t even get a look-in!
Presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, the picture is crisp and colourful and brings the Lake District to full life…. or death 😉
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, for which I got the 5.1 DTS version and, amongst the blood-splatter sounds and dialogue, there’s wonderful music punctuating the movie such as Soft Cell‘s Tainted Love and Frankie Goes To Hollywood‘s The Power of Love.
There are a handful of extras:
- Behind the scenes (36:00): Chat from key cast and crew, on-set footage, rehearsals, and much more. This extra is fascinating from start to finish.
- Outtakes (12:16): Does exactly what it says on the tin.
- Trailers: Two here. One at 2:10, and the other one minute long. Both in the original aspect ratio.
It’s a shame they didn’t include, along similar lines to Stitches, the Q&A with director Ben Wheatley and lead actor/co-writer Steve Oram at the Manchester Cornerhouse. It’s not as if a Blu-ray disc isn’t short on space.
The menu features film clips with the theme in the background, there are subtitles in English, but, sadly, a lack of chapters with a mere 12 over the 88-minute running time. What is it with studios and their love of just TWELVE paltry chapters?
Running time: 88 minutes
Released: March 25th 2013
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Ben Wheatley
Producers: Claire Jones, Nira Park and Andrew Starke
Screenplay: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram and Amy Jump
Music: Jim Williams
Tina: Alice Lowe
Chris: Steve Oram
Carol: Eileen Davies
Martin: Richard Glover
Janice: Monica Dolan
Ian: Jonathan Aris
Rambler: Richard Lumsden
Bride-To-Be: Rachel Austin
Crich Tourist: Tony Way
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.