Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Review - Sightseers (2012 - Dir. Ben Wheatley)

The success of sightseers, as with most comedies, depends entirely on whether you find it funny or not. There were quite a few laughs from the audience that showed that some people liked it, although a surprisingly large proportion of chuckles came from the front seats which had all been reserved - draw your own conclusions from that. Apart from two moments, I didn't find it funny. It's not that I didn't get the jokes, I knew exactly where I was supposed to laugh (just as I know when 'My Family' is trying to be humourous - and failing) but it didn't work and the overwhelming feeling was one of boredom. To be positive, the brown lipstick comment and the bit where a dog licks a bloke's bum hole both raised a smile and even a little laugh. Two laughs out of a whole comedy is not a good ratio though, considering that The Avengers had loads more and it wasn't even a comedy.

Tina and Chris are a couple going on their first holiday together in a caravan after the sad event of her mother's dog suffering a nasty accidental death. They visit lots of different locations - I'll come back to this later - and get into numerous murderous scrapes all filmed in a delightful not very gory way; there's nothing here that you wouldn't find in the average 'Songs of Praise'. They also find a replacement dog who obviously steals every scene he is in.

Back to the locations. They were obviously chosen for their sad/geeky potential. Old trams, caravan sites and pencil museums feature, all easy targets for some top quality mocking. There is a certain smugness to the humour that I wouldn't expect to see in a horror film. Being a horror fan I  know what it's like to be the butt of jokes and receive disapproving looks, so I don't gain pleasure from laughing at someone because they have a non-mainstream interest.

As a bit of a walker, most of the places were familiar to me but watching an episode of Wainwright's Walks would have been a lot more entertaining. This came second in the audience vote for the best film of the festival so other people obviously liked it, but for me it was a really disappointing start to the festival. Next.

If you like this you could also try:
Laughing at trainspotters.


  1. Good honest review. I have the feeling I'll come to the same conclusion as you, but I did enjoy Wheatley's previous efforts so I will probably still give it a watch.

  2. It's definitely worth watching. There were lots of people in the audience that enjoyed it.

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