Sightseers And Wheatley Movements

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For whatever reason Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers passed me by on theatrical release. I’m not sure quite how this happened, but it being released in the Autumn months dominated by the London Film Festival probably didn’t help matters, but alas, and in spite of being a big fan of director Ben Wheatley’s Down Terrace and Kill List it’s taken a whole seven months for me to catch up with his latest film. Billed as either “Badlands meets Carry On Camping” or “Bonnie & Clyde meets Nuts In May“, depending upon whom you ask, Sightseers is ultimately a pretty bleak take on the road movie. Accompanied by a comedy of the blackest variety, Wheatley’s film is a much more straightforward affair than it’s immediate predecessor, the psychologically driven Kill List, but carries with it as fervent a punchline, as the full scope of things plays out.

En-route to said punchline all manner of surreal and bizarre scenarios play out, from an inspired Apocalypse Now homage in which a ritualistic sacrifice is cut to the murder of an innocent man, through to a convention-riffing, slow-motion-laden breakdown of a second killing soundtracked to a rendition of Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’.

This screening of Sightseers comes just seven days ahead of the release of Wheatley’s new film, the multi-platform released A Field In England. Being delivered via cinema, home video, VoD and a terrestrial television screening on the same day, the release strategy for A Field In England is innovative and exciting.

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