FILM: Shell (15)

The rain- and wind-swept Scottish Highlands provides a startling and bleak backdrop to Scott Graham’s elegiac debut.

Graham explores the dynamic between a 17-year-old called Shell (Chloe Pirrie) and her emotionally crippled mechanic father, Pete (Joseph Mawle), who live and work in a run-down petrol station, which attracts almost no passing traffic.

In this remote and unforgiving spot, the absence of Shell’s mother, who left when she was just four, creates an intense and deeply troubling bond between father and child that not only binds Shell and Pete, but may also consume and ultimately destroy them.

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The teenager’s messy fumblings with a local boy (Iain de Caestecker) add fuel to the emotional fire, building to a devastating crescendo that skids perilously close to melodrama.

Thankfully, Graham retains control of his film in the haunting final moments when despair turns to liberation.

Released: March 15 (UK, selected cinemas), 91 mins