Whilst the Troubles have been officially over since the signing of the Good Friday agreement in the 1990s, it’s not like members of paramilitary groups suddenly disappeared. Admittedly, some went into politics or quietly slipped back into civilian life, but many simply shifted their focus to other criminal activities. They still cast a shadow over many families and communities. That is the spark which lights the fire under Donal in Bad Day for the Cut.

Donal (Nigel O’Neill) is a middle-aged farmer who lives with, and cares for, his mother (Stella McCusker) in rural Ireland. He feels isolated and stuck in a rut until one day Donal arrives home to discover she has been viciously murdered. Devastated, he can’t understand why anyone would want to harm her. Shortly after her funeral, two men try to kill him. They bungle the job and Donal eventually teams up with one of them (Bartosz-Józef Pawlowski), who is looking for his sister (Anna Próchniak), and sets out to find answers.

Bad Day for the Cut is a brutal and uncompromising study of vengeance and friendship. Director Chris Baugh ensures that it remains well-paced, whilst managing to conjure-up a surprise or two along the way. Whilst it’s an engaging, often humorous, thriller, Baugh also serves up a highly enjoyable buddy movie. O’Neill and Pawlowski have a great rapport. The gruff older man and the naivety and exuberance of youth. Bad Day for the Cut is an impressive British thriller which delivers on all fronts.

Bad Day for the Cut is released on DVD by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment on 8 January.