It should be a source of pride for British audiences that homegrown film-makers keep defying the odds to produce watchable features on shoestring budgets. Among the most prolific is Jamie Adams, although his laudably steady output has been surpassed by that of 32 year-old Brighton auteur Jamie Patterson, who has been churning out titles at a phenomenal rate since debuting with Swimming in Circles (2011). 

His latest offering, Tucked, had just arrived on disc. Filmed in Patterson's hometown, it reunites him with veteran actor Derren Nesbitt, who had taken a supporting role in Home For Christmas. Although many will remember him as the Gestapo officer in Brian G. Hutton's 1968 adaptation of Alistair MacLean's war thriller, Where Eagles Dare, Nesbitt played a pivotal part in a gay cinema landmark, when he blackmailed lawyer Dirk Bogarde in Basil Dearden's Victim (1961). While it's good to see the 83 year-old in such fine fettle, it's a shame that Patterson has missed an opportunity to make an equally worthwhile contribution to the ongoing debate about gender identity by opting to dwell on the sentimentally melodramatic problems of his straight protagonist rather than the issues facing his non-binary protégé. 

Drag queen Jackie Collins (Derren Nesbitt) has the audience eating out of the palm of his hands, while indulging in some risqué banter after miming along to the old Gloria Gaynor hit, `I Will Survive'. Ironically, after collapsing in the kitchen of his poky flat, he discovers he is suffering from an aggressive form of cancer and only has some six weeks to live. But he says nothing to his boss, Alex (Joss Porter), when he asks him to keep an eye on a new recruit, Faith (Jordan Stephens). Indeed, he shows no signs of being weakened when he thumps one of the homophobic louts giving Faith grief during a cigarette  break in the alley behind the club and the pair strike up a rapport while waiting for Jackie to be seen in casualty. 

Impressed by Faith's singing and sympathetic to their plight after being thrown out by their bigoted father, Jackie offers them Faith his couch after seeing them go to sleep in their car. The next morning, after Faith cooks breakfast, they establish that Jackie is a straight man who likes to dress in women's clothing and that Faith is an individual who refuses to be defined by their gender. Jackie also reveals that he hasn't spoken to his daughter, Lily (April Pearson), for a decade because he refused to go to his late wife's funeral after she had made it clear that she didn't want him around while she was dying. 

Ignoring Alex's suggestion that it might not be appropriate for the 21 year-old Faith to be staying at his flat, the 74 year-old Jackie takes to the stage, after being given a big build-up by the MC (Brendon Bruce), and is in the middle of another smutty routine when he collapses. The doctor (Ruben Crow) urges him to take his pills and suggests quitting his act. But Jackie has no intention of giving up something he loves in order to live another few days. He is. however, touched by Faith's concern and agrees to their suggestion to contact Lily via Facebook. Lying awake, Jackie struggles to find the right words to apologise and assure his daughter that he loves her and the stress of the situation causes him to break down in tears on the kitchen floor, as Faith consoles him. 

In a bid to cheer him up, Faith suggests ticking off an item on Jackie's bucket list. They go to a pole-dancing club, where Faith pays for a private dance with Josie (Lucy-Jane Quinlan). Embarrassed by the age difference, but aware he hasn't seen a woman topless in 20 years, Jackie chats to Josie as she gyrates and reassures him that she has no qualms about performing for him. She reveals she's a lesbian before sitting on his lap, clasping his hands over her breasts and inviting him to call again whenever he wants. 

Thanking Faith for a highly pleasurable experience, Jackie goes to the cemetery to pay his overdue respects to his wife. He tells her about Josie before asking how she has been keeping. Removing his cap, Jackie apologises for hurting her with the revelation that he liked to cross-dress and asks her not to shout at him when they next see each other, as he doesn't want to spend eternity knowing that she still hates him. 

Arriving at the club to find Faith having a blazing row in the dressing-room with Mollie (Stephanie Diane Starlet), Jackie urges them to stop behaving like divas. He taunts Molly that Faith will always be half her age and follows Faith into the alley to remind them that he will always be there for them. But Faith lets slip an unkind remark about Jackie not having much time and he goes for a long drive along the coast before spending a day alone in the flat after Faith fails to come home. 

Jackie finds them sitting on the bonnet of their car when he goes to the club and they make up in time to pay a visit to Daryl (Steve Oram), a Brummie drug dealer who asks several blunt questions about genitalia and gender before selling them some cocaine. They party into the night and crash out on the sofa. The next morning, while Jackie soaks in the bath, Faith asks about when he started wearing women's clothes and he reveals that his wife discovered his secret when she came home unexpectedly and found him dancing to Tom Jones in her wedding dress. 

After Jackie gets a tattoo on his chest and chats to a small girl on a park bench about nail polish, he gets home to find that Faith has cooked an inedible surprise supper. He claims Faith is like the son he never had and Faith replies by calling Jackie `the cross-dressing grandad I always wanted'. During his set that night, Jackie spots Lily in the crowd and they chat backstage. After a brief catch-up exchange, she berates him for abandoning her when she needed him and he promises that he never stopped loving her and was trying to ease the pain by staying away. She asks him to walk her down the aisle in a month and, withholding the truth about his condition, he readily accepts the invitation and smiles when Lily asks him not to upstage her dress. 

As the image fades on Jackie sobbing at his mirror, a caption informs us that a year has passed. Faith is recycling Jackie's jokes on stage and they namecheck Lily before thanking Jackie for taking them in and accepting them for who they were. Lily smiles alongside her husband when Faith reveals that Jackie lived to see her big day and everyone applauds when Faith salutes his memory. 

Cross-dressing has been a British stage tradition since before Shakespeare's time. But much has changed since the days of Lilly Savage, let alone Danny La Rue, Stanley Baxter and Barry Humphries. Consequently, in comparison with such recent outings as Paddy Breathnach's Viva (2015) and Armando Praça's Greta (2018), Jamie Patterson's off-couple dramedy feels a little old fashioned in its approach to both drag queens and the tricky topic of sexual identity suggested by its title. Indeed, apart from a couple of ignorant speeches by the MC and Daryl the drug dealer, the script pushes the issue into the background, as Patterson focuses on Jackie's terminal illness and the need to make amends with his daughter before it's too late. 

Even that confrontation rather fizzles out, however, as Lily isn't sure whether to be furious or forgiving and Jackie is too busy apologising to attempt a soul-baring justification of his actions. Nevertheless, the scene is played with a sincerity that permeates proceedings, even though there is plenty of waspish humour to go with the antiquated gags that Jackie uses in his act. Yet there's no escaping the fact that Faith's backstory is treated as little more than a convenient plot point that helps facilitate the age-gap friendship without making it seem sordid (not that it ever could be perceived as such, however, as Jack(ie)'s heterosexuality is forever being thrust in the audience's face).

Despite the narrative imbalance, Nesbitt and Razzle Kicks rapper Jordan Stephens establish a decent rapport. Indeed, they often says more with sly glances than Patterson manages with his well-meaning, but occasionally tin-eared and carelessly pronouned dialogue. In conjunction with production designer Laura Little and cinematographer Paul O'Callaghan, he capably conveys the seedy chic of the nightclub, which is reinforced by Lucy Upton-Prowse's costumes and the hair and make-up designs of April Pearson and Melissa Sweeting. The odd glimpses of the Sussex coast are also welcome. But this is primarily about Nesbitt and Stephens and the part of the story that Patterson conspicuously leaves untold.

Leeds-born Harry Wootliff has made a solid start to her directorial career with the shorts Nits (2004), Trip (2008) and I Don't Care (2010). Now, she makes an even more impressive feature debut with Only You, a modern love story that begins with a meet cute before quickly plunging back into real life to explore the strain that trying for a baby can place on a seemingly idyllic relationship. Elements of the backstory are left floating, while the third act meanders in its search for an ending. But Wootliff does enough to suggest that she is destined to join the likes of Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsay, Gillian Wearing, Carol Morley and Clio Barnard in bolstering British realist cinema's female perspective. 

While at a New Year party in Glasgow, Elena Aldana (Laia Costa) resists the efforts of her friend Carly (Lisa McGrillis) to matchmake her with her older brother. In trying to hail a taxi, she gets into an argument with Jake Wilson (Josh O'Connor), who insists on sharing the cab. He reveals that he has been DJing and tells the driver to pull over when Elena feels sick. Despite her protestations, he walks her home and she fibs that she's almost his age when he discloses that he is 26. While she's in the bathroom, he digs Elvis Costello's `I Want You' out of her musician father's vinyl collection and their playful dance soon leads to passionate kissing.

After she bundles him out the next morning, Elena doesn't expect to hear from Jake again. But he calls her at work, stays the night again and agrees to move in with her that weekend. Carly is taken aback by the speed with which things are moving, as Jake is doing a PhD in marine biology and is yet to learn that Elena is really 35. When they collect his belongings from his shared flat, Elena realises that he has been sleeping with one of his flatmates, who makes her annoyance at his treachery very clear. But they quickly establish a cosy routine, as she looks through his photograph album and she reveals that her father had been a philanderer, while his parents had been blissfully happy until his mother died. Such is their closeness that Jake is unfazed when Elena finally comes clean about her age and even jokingly calls her `Mrs Robinson' in a reference to Mike Nichols's The Graduate (1967). Indeed, when he sees her cradling a baby when he meets her friends, he suggests they start a family because they are made for each other. 

When they make love without a condom for the first time, Elena is moved when Jake professes his love and a montage follows her checking diary dates at work and building up the expectation to discover whether she's pregnant. She hides her disappointment when they visit Jake's father, Andrew (Peter Wight), who lives alone in the country. He enjoys showing her around the grounds and Jake is confident that they have succeeded in making a baby when he takes her to his old room (where he has to stoop to stop his head from hitting the ceiling). 

Feeling broody after a night out with a pregnant Carly and her pals, Elena tries to seduce Jake, who is feeling tired after a long day. He fails to perform and complains that having sex every time Elena ovulates is beginning to seem mechanical. She is concerned that there's something wrong and they undergo tests. The consultant (Anita Vettesse) reassures Elena that a teenage abortion won't affect her fertility, but does suggest that they apply for IVF treatment to take some of the pressure off trying to conceive. In the car park, Jake opines that it's hardly a romantic way to have a child and Elena accuses him of being immature for believing that life always works out perfectly. 

She wonders why they ever became an item and is still feeling fragile when Jake tries to patch things up back at the flat. He reminds her that they have six more attempts before the IVF date and she is touched by his confidence. But, as Christmas comes and goes with no luck, Elena grows nervous about starting the course. Realising she is scared of needles, Jake jollies her along and even injects himself to make her feel better. However, the need to medicate while at work and the marks appearing on her belly increase the pressure she feels to make a success of the treatment. She's relieved when the follicle tests prove positive and the first embryo is implanted.

As Jake passes a viva voce examination to confirm his doctorate, Elena starts to feel nauseated in the mornings. They try to remain calm, but she is charmed when he gives her his mother's ring, even though he insists he is not proposing. She reads aloud an online timeline for the first few days of a pregnancy and comes to believe that they are finally going to become parents. Naturally, she is crushed when the indicator reads `not pregnant' and Jake can only cradle her, as he can't think of anything to say. However, they bicker over the directions when they go to the christening of Carly's baby and Elena accuses Jake of being rude when he prefers to walk in the garden rather than chat to her friends. On the way home, he stops in the middle of nowhere to relieve himself and suggests in the dappled sunshine that they forget about babies and start enjoying their lives again. 

A montage of partying and coupling follows, but Elena begins to feel broody again after seeing the downstairs neighbours playing with their son in the garden. She confides in Carly that she won't feel complete unless she becomes a mother and wonders whether she is being punished for being a bad person. Elena mentions that they are considering taking out a loan to pay for a private consultation and, while nursing her own baby, Carly reminds her that there are worse things in life than not being a parent. 

The consultant advises against pursuing expensive treatment, as Elena only has a 5% chance of conceiving. Jake is furious with him for being so blunt and suggests borrowing money from his father to go elsewhere. Catching him sobbing after taking a shower, Elena tries to console him. But, when Carly asks her to be her maid of honour and asks when she is going to tie the knot, Elena admits that she doesn't know if they have a long-term future, as the baby issue has placed an enormous strain on them and dented their individual self-confidence. Moreover, she is in agony from missing a child she has never had.

As Jake has been away working, Elena takes the next pregnancy test without him and he is disappointed in her for making this about herself when they are supposed to be a couple. He goes to the pub alone and returns to play the Elvis Costello track to recreate their first night together. Elena is not in the mood, however, and suggests that they should split up because she has failed to give him the baby he wants. Jake implores her not to push the issue, as he loves her and wants them to get back to how things were before. But she goads him into criticising her and, when she screams at him to leave, he vows never to return once he sets foot through the door. 

Elena serves as maid of honour at Carly's wedding and her brother, Shane (Stuart Martin), reveals that he has left his pregnant girlfriend because he wasn't ready for the commitment. During the reception, Carly's father makes a speech about relationships needing to be re-born and Elena claps politely, while holding back the tears. She puts a brave face on things, but misses Jake so much that she invites him to meet for coffee. He has been couch-surfing, but is now living with his father and Elena gets teary at the mention of his name. But, while she hopes they can be a family again, Jake is adamant that he meant what he said when he gave her an ultimatum and he leaves her alone in the café. 

Returning home, Jake rakes leaves in the garden. But Andrew suggests that he follows his heart and recognises that every couple has highs and lows. Despite what he chooses to believe, his parents had their rows. They simply had them in loud whispers in the kitchen after he had gone to bed. Heeding the advice, Jake meets Elena in an autumnal park and they smile as their fingers touch. As the credits roll to the Chromatics version of `Blue Moon', Jake and Elena rediscover each other in a slow, smoochy dance that suggests the realise, at last, that having each other will have to be enough. 

Following their impressive turns in Sebastian Schipper's Victoria (2015) and Francis Lee's God's Own Country (2017), Laia Costa and Joseph O'Connor form an affecting partnership in this thoughtfully written and deftly directed drama, which explores what happens when a couple's chemistry is undermined by their biology. It might have been nice to learn more about Elena's background to explain what the Catalan is doing in a picturesque, but rather underused Glasgow - as Carlos Marques-Marcet did much more effectively with Natalia Tena's character in Anchor and Hope (2017) - while neither Elena nor Jake seem to have much of a life outside their apartment. This makes sense, bearing in mind the all-consuming desire to conceive a child. But it makes Jake and Elena slightly two-dimensional, while their failure at any point to consider adoption leaves lots of unanswered questions about their motives for wanting to become parents. 

As this is primarily a study of the strains that conception places upon a romance, Wootliff chronicles the IVF process as forensically as Jason Barker did in the 2018 documentary, A Deal With the Universe. But the medical profession is given rather a rough ride, with the private consultant's bedside manner particularly leaving a lot to be required. However, such brusqueness affirms how alone the couple are in their endeavour and how little shared experience they have to fall back on to get them through the stress and heartache. 

This sense of isolation is reinforced by Andy Drummond's production design and the frequency with which cinematographer Shabier Kirchner captures the pair in intimate close-ups in confined spaces. However, the audience's investment is in Elena and Jake as a couple and Wootliff and editor Tim Fulford expose how little we know about them as people in allowing the pace to slacken when they are apart. Of course, this reflects how they must be feeling at being alone again. But, with Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch's score emphasising its mawkish quality, the denouement feels a touch contrived, even though it makes no guarantee of a happy ever after, as the lovers have a lot of learning and growing up to do if they are to overcome their disappointments and scarcely addressed differences.

Adapted from José Luis Sampedro's bestselling novel, The Etruscan Smile, Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun's Rory's Way feels like it has been welded together from bits of other (and better films). From the Outer Hebridean opening that evokes memories of Alexander Mackendrick's Whisky Galore (1948) and Bill Forsyth's Local Hero (1983) to the San Franciscan core that veers between Jack Lemmon's Kotch (1971) and János Edelényi's The Carer (2016), this is a cake-and-eat-it kind of picture that prods viewers to laugh and cry on demand without giving them much to smile or mewl about. 

Greybeard Rory MacNeil (Brian Cox) lives in a croft in the Outer Hebrides. Despite being 74, he skinny dips in the sea at first light and, each evening, tuts at the tourists taking selfies in the pub, where he whittles at the bar and grumbles in Gaelic. When Alistair Campbell (Clive Russell) enters to boast that he will have the last laugh in the centuries-old feud between their clans, Rory counters that he will widdle on the flowers on his grave. But he collapses in agony on getting home and the local vet (who keeps giving him horse tranquilizers for the pain) urges him to fly to America, patch things up with his estranged son and get himself cured. 

After 15 years, Rory barely recognises Ian (JJ Feild) at the airport and is miffed at not being able to smoke in the car. He is also hurt when his son fails to show his appreciation for the model horse he has carved for him and can't understand why daughter-in-law Emily (Thora Birch) keeps calling him `dad'. However, Ian is annoyed that Rory has clearly come to San Francisco for a medical check-up and his mood scarcely improves when his father can't remember the sex of his grandchild. 

Following a sleepless night because the newborn Jamie kept bawling his eyes out, Rory is perplexed to learn that his chemist son is now a celebrated sous chef, while Emily has quit nursing to run her own business. He is also disappointed to see Jamie being left in the care of Frida (Sandra Santiago), a Hispanic maid who strictly adheres to her employers' modern parenting theories. Unable to bear the sight of his grandson sobbing in his playpen at the sound of the vacuum cleaner, Rory takes him for a walk in his stroller and gets ticked off by Ian for disappearing without a word. 

Emily is more subtle in her attempt to control the old man and gives him a mobile phone so they can keep track of his movements. She also leaves him a tuxedo so he can attend the swanky function that she is hosting and Ian is catering at the city museum. As he insists on wearing a kilt in the clan tartan, Rory is recognised by Emily's proud father, Frank Barron (Treat Williams), who is amused by the Scotsman's blunt worldview. But Rory is anything but impressed when Frank announces that he has bought Ian a restaurant so he can experiment with his molecular creations and growls in Gaelic about the best way to tame a stallion. Moreover, he gets scolded by curator Claudia (Rosanna Arquette) for touching a terracotta Etruscan tomb ornament and is arrested for skinny dipping in the bay. 

The next day, Rory gets some good news, when he learns that Campbell has been diagnosed with liver failure. He cooks his famous stew to mark his victory. But Ian is furious when he realises that Rory is celebrating his foe's imminent demise rather than his own unexpected success and they argue until the truth emerges that Ian left Lewis because he could no longer abide living with a father who had exploited the death of his pet dog to fuel the feud. Undaunted, Rory promises Jamie that he will take him home to see the star-filled sky above his croft and not even a diagnosis of stage four prostate cancer from Dr Weiss (Tim Matheson) appears to deflect him from his purpose. 

Although Ian and Emily are shocked by the news, Rory takes Jamie to the museum, where he bumps into Claudia again after having his pocket picked. As he mumbles something in Gaelic after having a dizzy spell, Rory is invited to participate in a Berkeley research project into endangered languages and he only agrees to help if Claudia accompanies him. The Professor (Peter Coyote) is delighted with him and Claudia is forced to admit he has a rough-hewn charm. However, she is hurt that he has withheld the truth about his health and cuts short a date to a funfair. 

With Emily away on business, Rory moves his bed into Jamie's room and tells Ian to ignore Jeff (Josh Stamberg), the number-cruncher Frank has imposed upon him to plan his menus. He reminds him that life is short and urges him to do what he loves before it's too late. Discovering he's only got three months left, Rory takes Claudia some flowers by way of apology and she shows him her plot in a city garden. They kiss while planting blooms and he continues to delight the professor with his Gaelic wit and wisdom. One of his tales is about Campbell. But the news that he has died shakes Rory and he hides away in his room with a bottle of scotch. Eventually, he wanders into Jamie's room and apologises for the fact he won't be there for him for much longer and the boy wipes away his grandfather's tear when it drops on to his cheek.

Meanwhile, Ian has told Frank that he doesn't want his backing for the restaurant and Emily admits that she's unhappy because she keeps missing key moments like Jamie's first steps. They attend a pirate-themed birthday party that Frank has thrown in Jamie's honour at the golf club, but the boy seems happiest with the wooden boat that Rory has carved for him. Seeing his father and son wading into the sea, Ian rushes down to remonstrate and pleads with Rory to stop fighting battles nobody else cares about and the old man is crestfallen. 

He gets drunk and staggers to Claudia's house, where she takes pity on him and puts him in her bed. When she finds him collapsed in a doorway, she calls an ambulance and Rory asks Ian to take him home. As he has been listening to a disc of his father's Gaelic anecdotes, he is also feeling homesick and the whole family flies back to Lewis after Rory tells Claudia she's the personification of his home. While walking in the hills, Rory gives Ian the penknife he had owned as a boy and regrets trying to make a man of him when he had his own path to tread. The next morning, Jamie climbs out of his cot and clambers across the bed to utter the word `seanathair', the Gaelic for grandfather, as the camera passes over Rory's head to gaze at the view out of his window. 

A credit crawl coda shows Ian and Emily returning to Rory's croft with a five year-old Jamie and his infant sibling. Nothing is said about how they are making a living or where, but the swelling of Haim Frank Ilfman's score reminds us that we are supposed to be smiling through the tears, as Rory's spirit lives on. Moreover, it ensures that we leave the cinema with such a strong whiff of nostalgia in our nostrils that we are powerless to resist the cornball message that the old ways are still best. In this regard, the debuting duo of Brezis and Binnun echo Amanda Sthers's conclusion in Holy Lands (2018), another story about a self-centred windbag whose conviction in his own rectitude makes him insufferable.

The canny casting of James Caan went some way to taking the curse off Sthers's paean to patriarchy and Brian Cox comes close to pulling off the same trick here. However, he relies so heavily on Ballantrushal bluster that there's little room left for the charisma that is supposed to have seduced Rosanna Arquette's pushover curator and melted the decades of bitter resentment that JJ Feilds was supposed to have been hauling around on his shoulder. Cox is a fine actor, but Rory is a duff character and the co-directors are too inexperienced to convince us that the curmudgeon who fervently desires the death of a neighbour is really a loveable rogue. 

While cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe provides them with relishable views of Loch Eriboll (standing in for Lewis) and Frisco by night, Brezis and Binnun are given little assistance by their writers. There's little of Sampedro's 1985 story about a Southern Italian peasant trekking to Milan left in a screenplay that apparently required the combined talents of Michael McGowan, Michal Lali Kagan, Shuki Ben-Naim and Amital Stern to concoct. But, while the slipshoddiness of their characterisation is par for the course in so much millennial American cinema, their dialogue clangs more hollowly than the hull of the Ullapool to Stornaway ferry.

Any horror film containing a Ron Weasley gag can't be all bad and the one in Benjamin Barfoot's feature bow, Double Date, is particularly good, as it involves Georgia Groome (who has dated Rupert Grint) and Danny Morgan, who played Harry Potter's best pal in Barfoot's 2012 short, Where Did It All Go Ron? Fortunately, the Devonian debutant has more to offer than a canny close-up and he builds on the fine reputation forged with the shorts Drive Too, Who Is Albert Plum? (both 2012) and Fist (2016) with a bullishly played comic romp that leavens the essence of grindhouse with dashes of Edgar Wright and Ben Wheatley to laddishly amusing effect. 

Following a pitiless act of butchery to the accompaniment of Yazoo's `Only You', red-haired schlub Danny Morgan meets up in a pub with cocksure buddy Michael Socha. Dismissing the fact that Morgan has just been text dumped by his girlfriend of three months, Socha is amused that he is still a virgin despite approaching his 30th birthday and sets him up with a stranger at the bar, who turns out to be a grieving widow who vomits in her handbag in the taxi home and winds up getting Morgan arrested. 

When Morgan (who has a profile on a dating site for virgins) next encounters Socha, they run into drug dealer Liz Kingsman, who gives them tickets to see her boyfriend's band. Later in the evening, Socha spots sisters Kelly Wenham and Georgia Groome and sends Morgan over to buy them a drink after the former gives them the eye. Instantly tongue-tied, Morgan's small talk leaves much to be desired and an hilarious conversation ensues when the spellcheck on his phone keeps correcting the Cyrano-like chat-up lines that Socha keeps sending him in order to make a good impression. 

Much to his astonishment, Morgan manages to get a double date, even though he has made a buffoon of himself. However, the timid Groome also has misgivings about the arrangement and endures a nightmare involving a butterfly and Wenham chanting an incantation before waking with a start. She has every reason to fear her sibling, however, as a shot of Wenham kickboxking and knocking the block off her target suggests. But, as Groome lies in the bath, Wenham reminds her that they owe it to their father to see their plan through to fruition and she goes through an intense wardrobe and make-up session in order to make the most of their rendezvous.  

Across town, Morgan has also had second thoughts and informs Socha that he would rather stay in and finish his balsa wood dinosaur. Nevertheless, he finds himself being dragged along to a nightclub, where the conversation is just as stilted as it was when they met because the girls don't drink. Fearing a washout of an evening, Socha suggests that the go to the Krabs gig and, when the music turns out to be execrable, he attempts to spike the drinks with ecstasy. However, Morgan has developed a crush on Groome and smashes her glass before she can take a sip. Suspecting something untoward is going on, Wenham suggests that they repair to a hot rap club where Big Narstie is the headline act. No sooner have they arrived, however, than Morgan gets a message from his mother inviting him offer for a birthday surprise and, because she has been warned not to let him out of her sight, Groome has no option but to drive him to the family home. 

On arrival at the quiet suburban address, Morgan is mortified to be greeted with evident glee by mother Rosie Cavaliero, father Robert Glenister and sister Olivia Poulet. They are all wearing t-shirts bearing his picture and Groome is given a discard with a distorted image so she doesn't feel left out. The walls are covered with holy pictures and Morgan squirms with embarrassment as he opens a penknife that had belonged to his late nana. However, the drug in his drink is beginning to kick in and he murmurs `kill me now' as his family start to sing a birthday song in his honour before using a large knife to slice into a cake with his face in the icing. Groome thinks it's all rather quaint and gives Morgan reassuring looks, as Cavaliero breathes a sigh of relief that her son has finally found a good girl to date. 

Back at the club, Socha resents the fact that Wenham gives him the brush-off and he throws a drink over her when she dismisses his protest. Steaming with rage, Wenham seeks sanctuary in the washroom. However, she is disturbed by  bouncer Lee Shone checking for drugs and opens the door to her cubicle and slaughters him. She emerges just as Groome and Morgan return and she suggests that they go back to her house in the country. Much to her annoyance, Socha manages to wangle his way into the car. But she's grateful for the offer of his father's car when they crash while speeding along and Groome gets a nasty nosebleed and has to sit next to Morgan while she recovers. 

Socha's dad turns out to be sleazy Dexter Fletcher, who lives in a caravan and tries to pass off the prostitute with whom he has been consorting as his cleaner. He manages to embarrass Morgan with an anecdote about his childhood love of Jaffa Cakes and he beats a hasty retreat to the local shop to buy some drinks and snacks. While they are away, the sisters lock themselves in the bathroom and Wenham tells Groome to stop making doe eyes at Morgan, as they need him for their ritual. As they chat, Fletcher see a television news report about a pair of `maneaters' and the siblings have to chloroform him because Groome is too squeamish to kill him. 

When the boys return, Wenham insists that Fletcher fell asleep at the end of a long day and Socha kisses him fondly on the forehead before piling everyone into his car to continue their journey to the country estate. While Groome and Morgan are left to get acquainted, Wenham takes Socha upstairs. However, he is on his guard and resists her efforts to kill him and a titanic struggle sees them smash each other into walls and windows before Wenham survives having a shelving unit dropped on her. 

Downstairs, Groome allows her feelings to get the better of her and she confesses that he has been lured into a trap because they need a virgin for their ritual to work. Morgan curses his luck that the first girl who really like him is a psychopath, but accepts her invitation to flee before Wenham can catch up with him. She proves much quicker than he is, however, and knocks him out in the grounds with a single blow. When he wakes, Morgan finds himself tied to a chair in the basement and looks up to see Wenham wheeling the withered carcass of father James Swanton into the room. As he looks on in dismay, the sisters start chanting. But Morgan remembers nana's penknife in his pocket and just manages to free his hands as Swanton bears down on him with an enormous blade. 

Reaching up, Morgan snaps off Swanton's bony hand and manages to stab him in the head. Incandescent, Wenham hurls herself at Morgan and he is relieved to see Socha stagger into the room. However, he proceeds to keel over and Morgan is only saved when Groome knocks out Wenham with a club after she has buried a knife in Morgan's shoulder. All is not quite over yet, however, as Swanton struggles to his feet, only for Morgan to kick his head clean off his shoulders. Yet Groome still kisses him before she is taken away by the police, so it hasn't been an entirely wasted evening. 

Fans of the Johnny Vegas sitcom, Ideal, will doubtlessly recognise Danny Morgan as the gormless Jake. But, while he also cropped up in Walter Salles's On the Road (2012), Morgan has done a lot of his best work in combination with Barfoot, who entrusted him with the script for his first feature. Apart from a drop in pace in the middle third and the odd gag falling flat, the pair can be pretty proud of their efforts, as this is one of the best British slapstick slashers in a while. 

Rocking along to a pulsating soundtrack by Goat, the action is moodily photographed by Laura Bellingham and edited with pugnacious confidence by the self-taught Barfoot, who directs with contrasting set-pieces like the birthday party and the punch-up with equal aplomb. Taking a leaf out of Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson's playbooks, he even makes a virtue of the low-grade effects and prosthetics and coaxes fine performances out of his leads. Reuniting with Barfoot and Morgan after Fist, Wenham makes a wickedly ruthless femme fatale, while Socha contributes a chauvinist swagger that masks the soft centre he reveals during the otherwise misfiring visit to Fletcher's caravan. As for Morgan and Groome, they make such a sweetly gauche couple that few would object if they were teamed again.