Given that it’s British and it’s about two people taking a laugh-filled trip through the countryside, the initial instinct is to compare Sightseers to Michael Winterbottom’s 2010 release, The Trip. Or maybe given the inclusion of a cute little dog that gets in on all the action, Michel Hazanavicius’ Oscar winner from last year, The Artist. But, about halfway through its new trailer, when all of the casual murdering starts, it becomes clear pretty quick that comparing Sightseers to anything else just won’t do.
For those who’ve seen its director Ben Wheatley’s previous film, the shocking and grizzly Kill List, that probably comes as no surprise. If Wheatley proved anything there it was that he’s a storyteller who can keep an audience on their toes, and a visual artist who isn’t afraid of graphic depictions of murderous acts. Trying to pin his films down is an exercise in futility, you might as well just go along for the ride and try not to get any on you.
This time around he’s telling the story of a ginger-faced man (Steve Oram) and an angry woman (Alice Lowe) taking a road trip in a camper; a road trip that involves romance, laughter, soaring human spirits, and multiple, thoughtless murders of innocent people. Somehow, this all plays as being hilarious. But given Wheatley’s penchant for taking our expectations and subverting them, maybe the film won’t end up being a dark comedy at all. Maybe this trailer is just cleverly cut to fool us, and things end up taking a more sinister turn. Probably we’re just going to have to wait for the movie to come out and see for ourselves.
Sightseers is released in the UK on November 30, and hopefully will get a U.S. distribution plan after it plays the Toronto International Film Festival in a few weeks. [The Guardian]