Sometimes I can be a real glutton for pain (the cinematic kind I should quickly add). As I state at the top of this Blog one of my big no-no’s are horror flicks, and yet hear I am again in a cinema (I’m back in London) to see yet another one from Brit Director Ben Wheatley just a few months after I sat through (and enjoyed?) Kill List. I remember that movie well as it is one of the rare times that I was so utterly confused on my judgement that I avoided to even attempt to give it a rating. (Check my review here).
The movie did remain bubbling in my mind somewhere and the moment this new one was released I was right there at the Box Office clutching both my ticket and my eye mask. ( You really didn’t think I was going to watch all that blood and gore especially during an afternoon matinee.)
This one is a black comedy … not the laugh out type … more the tittering kind. Chris is a demented working class man who is going to take Tina his very new girlfriend on a caravan (RV) holiday touring the North of England. Tina is keen to escape the clutches of her demanding and domineering hypochondriac mother who hates Chris on sight, and as they pull out of the driveway, Tina says ‘Show me your world Chris!’ Little does she know then what a really grisly adventure this will entail.
At the very first stop on their journey Tina is horrified when Chris has a sudden temper tantrum when he confronts a big bearded man who is a persistent litterer and he resolves the argument by reversing the Caravan over the man and killing him. This is just the start of the people that they come across in the coming week that upset Chris for one reason or another and that he ends up killing them. Like a pompous middle class man who gets his head beaten in because he simply asked Chris to pick his dog’s poo up.
Once the initial shock that the new love of her life is a psychotic killer wears off, Tina who obviously has a few loose screws too to say the least, pitches in and helps the death toll creep up as their Tour continues.
All this murder and mayhem by these deranged serial killers is set in the tranquil and peaceful landscape of the idyllic English countryside and includes such scenic beauties as the ruins of Fountains Abbey, the somewhat perculiar Pencil Museum in Keswick, and ending at the imposing Ribblehead viaduct. And at night they stop in different Caravan Sites (very British versions of a Trailer Park) where there are more people to piss them off.
The whole affair is not unlike a Mike Leigh Film, especially the detailed relationship between Chris & Tina (minus the killing of course), and if you are familiar with classic Brit TV then you will appreciate the fact that the whole film starts off just like a Victoria Wood comic sketch. This 3rd feature from Mr Wheatley ….who is possibly a tad over-hyped as ‘the bright future of Brit Indie Cinema’ …. was for once from someone else’s script. Written by Steve Oram and Alice Lowe who also played the main leads, and although it kicked off so well at the beginning, it was starting to run out of steam by the end. I really loved the actual ending, but I think I may be one of the few people that did. It was the one time I really burst out laughing loud.
As horrors go, I’m guessing it was not that bloody, and as comedies go, it was not that funny, but as a wee edgy indie I think it worked fine. I would happily recommend it to anyone who goes through life wanting to take out anyone and every one that so annoys them. You know who you are.