Caravans will never seem safe

GRAEME TUCKETT
Last updated 05:00 22/12/2012
Sightseers

CARAVAN CARNAGE: Steve Oram and Alice Lowe in Sightseers.

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One of the choices I make in this job is to know as little as possible about a film before I see it.

REVIEW: Some days, if I'm sitting down to watch a preview of a film that hasn't had much advance publicity, I don't even know whether I'm about to see a documentary or a fictional film.

I like it like that. Preconceived opinions are a bad filter to watch anything through, and there'll be plenty of time for reading research when the film is over.

And with films like Sightseers, my decision really pays off. Ten minutes into this film, I still thought I was watching a dour and unedifying kitchen-sink drama about a hugely dysfunctional couple.

And then, out of the leaden British sky, murder and mayhem quite unexpectedly start to rain down. And Sightseers stops very suddenly being a drama about a caravan holiday, and turns into one of the bloodiest, and bloody funniest, black comedies I've seen in years.

Chris and Tina are the newly minted couple who have hitched up their 17-footer for a week away in the British countryside.

Chris has an itinerary packed with such jewels of the British tourism industry as a pencil museum and a derelict tram workshop.

We know that Tina comes from one of the all-time bad mother-daughter relationships.

But Chris seems like a nice enough bloke, even if his taste in holidays is pretty tedious. Which makes the couple's serial killer spree, when it kicks in, all the funnier.

This is Natural Born Killers played out in a series of caravan parks and pubs across North Yorkshire. Leads Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, and their director Ben Wheatley, all have some of the best of recent British comedy sprinkled across their CVs.

If you're a fan of The Mighty Boosh, or The League of Gentlemen, then you might even recognise their faces. (I did, eventually)

If you've a taste for it, this is a terrific black comedy, a great antidote to all the big budget American seriousness that usually clogs up the theatres at this time of year, and a confirmation of everything you might have suspected about caravanners. Nice one.

SIGHTSEERS
R16

95 min
Directed by Ben Wheatley
Starring Alice Lowe, Steve Oram.

Trailer: Warning: Contains coarse language

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- The Dominion Post

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