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REVIEW: 'Sightseers'

REVIEW: 'Sightseers'

REVIEW: 'Sightseers', Flicks.co.nz

4 stars

A romantic caravan trip around Britain's Lake District becomes a killing spree in this ultra-black comedy from Ben Wheatley (Kill List). In cinemas December 26.

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Director Ben Wheatley's follow-up to his masterful 2011 thriller Kill List is a much cheerier affair, but fans of the earlier work should appreciate the ultimately all-consuming black comedy on display.

Playing characters they created on stage years earlier, Steve Oram and Alice Lowe both inhabit their roles so effectively you sometimes feel like you're watching a documentary.

But the principal result is a grounding of the film in a Mike Leigh-esque degree of grim reality, which only makes the subsequent turn of events all the more shocking.

As Oram's Chris sets about killing random strangers who've enraged him with minor crimes like littering, you can't help but picture Larry David appreciating his course of action. This is a film that takes the everyday murderous impulses we all feel towards the other inhabitants of this planet to their unnatural extremes, and it's kind of satisfying on that level.

It's also very funny in the way that only English movies can be, generating much excruciating humour out of the unrelenting grimness of existence and the interaction of marvelously-essayed minor characters.

Wheatley has a gift for almost Malick-ian wistfulness, which feels entirely unique against the overcast English locations. Plus the bicycle pod must be seen to be believed, and has my nomination for Best Supporting Performance By An Inanimate Prop.

Don't let Sightseers pass you by – it's a one of a kind movie from one of the most exciting new directors around, equal parts hilarious; disturbing and wonderful.

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