Muscle

What a surprise this film is, Muscle, about a forlorn call centre salesman Simon (Cavan Clerkin, really good) who fancies getting his life in shape. He joins a gym and is soon under the bulging wing of personal trainer Terry, played by the hulkingly charismatic Craig Fairbrass.

Terry moves in on his man, helps him work out, bulk up and introduces him to partying, to women, to an orgy.

Simon’s out of his depth, but hooked by the burn, by the buzz, jacked up with testosterone, serotonin, coke and “man juice”. 

Gerard Johnson’s film, scored by his brother Matt, from The The, is a creepy study of peer pressure and masculinity, gouging into the cracks of male ego and vanity, flexing with threat and the possibility of changing yourself, mid-life crisis. Atmospheric, shocking and freshly original. Don’t join a gym.

In cinemas and streaming