It’s forty years since Sam Peckinpah’s film Straw Dogs was released in the UK to great controversy. It’s a violent tale of many things but amongst them was the very contemporary 1970s notion that the middle classes were besieged.

In it, Dustin Hoffman’s grant-maintained mathematician and his Triumph Stag-driving, air-du-temps girlfriend Susan George find their Cornish cottage heaven slowly turning to hell at the hands of the workmen they have hired to restore the property.

The devil making work for idle hands, their defiant artisanal laziness transforms by degrees into a moral turpitude that starts with cat hanging and escalates through the rape of George, to the murder of the local magistrate – a former army major – an attempted lynching and the hurling of rats into the embattled house to which Hoffman defiantly denies them entry.