Barney Thomson (Carlyle) is an awkward, feckless Glaswegian barber leading a life of quiet desperation until his modest career suddenly hits the buffers, inadvertently propelling him into the world of the serial killer. He is pursued by cockney cop-out-of-water DI Holdall (Winstone), who battles with his hilariously inept colleagues including an irascible chief superintendent (Tom Courtenay). Barney is offered distinctly cold comfort by his hard-living mother (Thompson), who has a secret of her own. As the body count bizarrely mounts, he grapples with his fate as best he can, which is not very well. With echoes of another darkly comic Scottish thriller Shallow Grave, and his own memorable turn in Trainspotting, Carlyle’s directorial debut is a total joy. Its four leads are on riotously brittle form, especially Thompson, whose 70-year-old foul-mouthed Glaswegian tart-without-a-heart sees her remarkably transformed.