Sightseers: A Jet-Black Comedy With Murders


Some couples are weird, right? Like two people who just got off the spaceship together from Planet Them, speaking their secret language. Chris (Steve Oram) and Tina (Alice Lowe), the leads in Sightseers, make one such couple, exhibiting an English dowdiness that is as charming as it is mundanely bizarre (Tina’s wool lingerie!). Yet while they are right for one another in these odd, everyday ways, it’s serial killing that really cements the romance. Newly dating, Chris and Tina are spending a week visiting English cultural sites, a tramway museum being their first stop. Yet Chris’s disdain for a fellow tourist leads to murder, and before long he and Tina are offing everyone who rubs them the wrong way. But anyone expecting a murder-spree pic atmospherically similar to director Ben Wheatley’s Kill List will be surprised—perhaps pleasantly. Sightseers is a jet-black comedy that understands exactly how absurdist it is, and its murders are always played for laughs—aided by their gruesome depictions. Class revenge is suggested, as is the defense of culture (graffiti at one museum elicits a hilarious shot of Chris staring wide-eyed, silent, in about five seconds of shock), but the denouement confirms Sightseers as a film about two weirdos trying to find real love. Indeed, if you came across this couple, you’d probably find them perfectly nice—and then you’d want to run far away.