M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Three of my decade-long Retro-Best in Horror recap Countdowns begins officially on October 1, 2012 and goes through September 30, 2013. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st, 2012 and September 30, 2013 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number—31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on May 10, 2013 and available on digital download, On Demand and BluRay/DVD here!
Directed by Ben Wheatley
Written by Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Amy Jump
Starring Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies
Find out more about this film on Facebook here
I don’t think anyone would have been able to predict Wheatley would make a film like SIGHTSEERS as his follow-up to KILL LIST, but one thing is for sure, SIGHTSEERS proves that Wheatley has the chops to possibly do everything and everything. SIGHTSEERS shifts the nihilistic tone we saw in KILL LIST to that of a pitch black comedy.
The film opens with an elderly mother moaning over and over in protest that her daughter Tina (Alice Lowe from Wheatley’s previous film) is about to leave on a holiday with her new boyfriend Chris (Steve Oram who was also in KILL LIST). It’s a hilarious scene as Tina stands just out of her mother’s sight mocking her mother and silently showing us that the moans are driving her crazy. When Chris shows up, it’s obvious mum doesn’t like him and one of the more hilarious threads through the movie is the lengths Tina’s mom will go to sabotage any chance that Tina will be taken away by this new boyfriend.
But the best part about Tina’s character is that she is ever the optimist. Even when Chris accidentally kills an obnoxious man by backing over him with his mobile home, Tina shows an unflappable half-full attitude. But when the bodies start piling up, Tina’s chipper mood is tested to its limits.
Lowe and Oram are fantastic as this couple who just want to get away from it all, but seem destined to leave many, many bodies in their wake. At first, the killings are accidental, but watching Tina become at first fascinated with Chris’ propensity for murder then overwhelmed by it all is an amazing character study amidst all of this humorous carnage. While Chris seems ok with it all, Tina is the one who shows the most depth as she tries to cope with being the cause of so many lights being snuffed out. Lowe is fabulous in this role, making us root for her despite the fact that Tina is obviously a pretty fucked up individual, becoming more and more messed up the longer she gets to know Chris’ dark side.
Though things get pretty serious in the third act, SIGHTSEERS maintains its black sense of gallows humor right up to the shocking ending, which I should have seen coming, but still surprised the hell out of me. Ben Wheatley has proven here that not only can he set a dire tone, but he has the power to make us both uncomfortable and jiggle with laughter all at once. Though themes of modern witchcraft are carried over from KILL LIST, this is a completely different kind of movie, showing us that Wheatley is very much a force to be reckoned with able to shock us, make us laugh, make us shiver, and most importantly keep us entertained all the way through. I highly recommend SIGHTSEERS for those who like their comedy devilishly black.
THE 2012-2013 COUNTDOWN!
#13 – SIGHTSEERS
#14 – WITHER
#15 – KISS OF THE DAMNED
#16 – JUG FACE
#17 – NO ONE LIVES
#18 – YOU’RE NEXT
#19 – HOME SWEET HOME
#20 – THE TAINT
#21 – THE PURGE
#22 – RITUAL/MODUS ANOMALI
#23 – V/H/S/2
#24 – MON AMI
#25 – EUROPA REPORT
#26 – BLIND ALLEY
#27 – MIDNIGHT SON
#28 – DEVIL’S PASS
#29 – COME OUT AND PLAY
#30 – THE LAST WILL & TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH
#31 – I DIDN’T COME HERE TO DIE
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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