IMDb lists this as a crime movie, but I do feel that this is a horror movie.
Chris wants to share his caravan with his new girlfriend, Tina, so they depart on a tour of England visiting all those boring sights and sites I was forced to see as a kid (not literally, because I was in another country, but those similar things anyhow). About half way through, Tina first realizes that Chris has killed one of the men they met earlier. Not long after that Tina finds herself leading Chris into killing another man, which leads her even further down this dark path.
As a serial killer, Chris isn’t exactly well-balanced, which is a problem for relationships in general. He is at the same time very unhinged and calculating. The first kill we see (and it’s later insinuated that he has killed a lot of people in the past) is because he felt threatened by someone who was able to write when Chris is trying to write his own book, but not getting anywhere. He doesn’t immediately ragekill, but instead waits until the next morning, when the man is out with his dog and then makes it look like an accident. And yes, this is over meeting a guy who has been able to do something Chris would like to do.
On the other hand, Tina seems quite eager to get in on the action. Tina seems to find a new freedom in Chris’s habit of killing people. It takes Tina a while to figure out that Chris is a killer, but once she does, she pretty much immediately goads Chris into killing someone just because the guy was demanding Tina to clean up the droppings of the dog she just stole. Tina just opportunistically has the guy killed. She seems horrified with herself just for moment, but that doesn’t last very long.
It’s a downward spiral from there. Tina is fascinated by the new opportunities presented by this relevation. It doesn’t take long for her to make her first kill and while Chris likes to believe his habit is controlled, Tina just lashes out. This drives a wedge between them, but since they are on the road, splitting up is not an actual option, so they have to stand each other for a while longer. At some point they also know of each others action’s, which means that they are potential witnesses against each other.
This in turn leads to the ending I enjoyed probably more than I should have. They form a suicide pact, but in the end Tina just let’s Chris die. Was this a last minute decision, or did Tina just want to get rid of Chris and this was the best plan she could come up with? This is where the movie fades to black, so we don’t really know what are Tina’s plans going forward. She wasn’t very subtle with her kills, so she will be a suspect. Can she play an innocent victim and push it all on Chris? This is of course just unnecessary speculation. The more interesting speculation is on whether Tina learned her lesson and plans to return to normalcy or does she plan to go on killing? She and her mother had a difficult relationship, but when Tina first finds out about Chris, her mother is still the first and only person Tina calls. She doesn’t tell everything, but is still trying to find comfort in this disfunctional family.
This is an interesting movie because it would seem difficult to make psychological horror with comedy elements, but they pull it off. I much prefer Wheatley’s preceding and subsequent films (Kill List and A Field in England), but this is still definitely worth a watch. If not for anything else than simply for the unique take on horror.
A weird little sidenote: I was just reading a story on Chris Cornell (the now-deceased former singer of Soundgarden) before writing this, so I had Cornell on my mind each time I wrote ‘Chris’ in the text. So, I guess in my mind Cornell has now been injected into the movie.