After a premier in Toronto on 10 September 2001. this ambitious, unashamedly adult psychological thriller, adapted from a novel by Neil Cross, languished in UK distribution limbo. The long dormant conscience of Jon (Howard), an ice-blooded hitman retained by an underworld Machiavelli called the 'Tattooed Man' is reawakened when he chances on childhood sweetheart Cathy (O'Rawe). She is now settled with husband Andy and their young daughter, but her meeting with Jon, who's tormented by thoughts of what might have been, has traumatic consequences for all. Though the tone of bracing existential bleakness won't be to everyone's taste, there is enough gallows humour along the way to ensure the film isn't entirely soul-chilling. First time director Sarossy (Atom Egoyan's longtime cameraman) transcends a visibly low budget and makes some bold but valid stylistic choices in tracing Jon's journey to perdition through a tenebrous London where only glimmers of the human spirit still flicker. The metaphysical 'chats' about free will between Jon and his volubly Miltonic employer (Calder) do, however, veer occasionally towards Matrix zones of pretentiousness.