British director Ben Wheatley won admirers with 2011’s Kill List, an original mashup of crime thriller and psychological horror about two soldiers turned hitmen. His follow-up, Sightseers, is a similarly warped offering that mixes dark comedy and gruesome violence in a story of a thirtysomething couple who turn their round-Britain caravanning trip into a killing spree. Steve Oram and Alice Lowe, who also co-wrote the movie, play the insular pair driven to murder by the bad manners and busybodies they encounter as they tour tram museums, stone circles and the like. Imagine Mike Leigh directing Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killerand you’re partway there. Putting the dead into deadpan, it’s a smart, well-handled satire skewering Middle England mores — and lots more besides.
In Snitch, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as the father of a teenager falsely accused of drug pushing and facing 10 years in the slammer. To clear his boy’s name, devoted dad Dwayne strikes a deal to infiltrate a dangerous narcotics gang. Barry Pepper and Susan Sarandon co-star.
Troublesome teens also figure in Gracia Querejeta’s 15 años y un día, winner of the Best Film award at this year’s Málaga festival. Maribel Verdú features as the mother at the end of her tether who packs her rebellious son Jon off to live with his grandfather, a strict ex-military man now retired on the Andalusian coast.
Starring Romain Duris and Déborah François, French 1950s-set romcom Populaire is the story of a speedy secretary flexing her fingers to become the world’s fastest typist.