W?Z (18)

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The Independent Culture

My God, this is nasty, but it's also horribly gripping. Tom Shankland's feature debut hits the ground running with an atmosphere of moral and physical rot learnt from Se7en, and a twisted psychotic revenge plot all of its own.

Bodies are turning up in a city of permanent night (New York, but unnamed), some viciously mutilated, some with a scientific equation, W?Z, carved into their skin. The casting is perhaps the most interesting thing: Stellan Skarsgard plays a cop with a guilty secret, Melissa George his rookie partner, while smaller roles are taken by Ashley Walters, Tom Hardy and Paul Kaye.

The rationale of the killer makes for a gruelling watch, and you might recommend that writer Clive Bradley undertake psychiatric counselling, but its cumulative effect is unarguable.