UK/2011/95mins/18. Dir: Ben Wheatley. With Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring.
This deeply edgy, gory thriller maintains a perfect tension throughout before dropping a bombshell which may test the thresholds of some viewers. Having said this, British director Wheatley has avoided creating a genre horror, instead offering us a carefully observed character study. When Jay, a shellshocked ex-soldier turned hitman returns home after a failed job, tensions run high until he is finally persuaded by his wife and a fellow ex-soldier to return to contract killing to help pay the bills. Jay’s already tenuous moral compass spirals out of control in coldly staged scenes of brutal violence, but we come to realise there is far more to Jay than meets the eye as the film’s final horror is revealed.
"British horror has rarely hit these heights since the mid-'70s" - Total Film