British writer-director Kieron Hawkes makes his feature film debut with Piggy, a sickeningly violent revenge thriller in which a shy London messenger boy becomes a psychopathic vigilante’s uneasy sidekick. Paul Anderson‘s homicidal avenger Piggy seems to spring fully formed from the unconscious of the grief-stricken Joe (Martin Compston) after a gang of louts kills his adored elder brother John (Neil Maskell). Claiming to be one of John’s old friends, Piggy turns up on Joe’s doorstep soon afterwards and cajoles him into accompanying him on his murderous campaign of retribution.
As the rangy Piggy and his runty accomplice track down the culprits one by one, their victims won’t be the only ones flinching from the blows. Amplified by the film’s bludgeoning sound design, the bone-crunching violence is unrelenting and repellent. Hawkes clearly thinks he’s making a statement about the psychology of revenge, but his ideas remain fuzzy thanks to the film’s terrible script. Indeed, from the clunky dialogue and dreary voice-over narration, it sounds as if Hawkes has swallowed a GCSE psychology textbook and regurgitated gobbets of half-digested psychobabble all over the screenplay.