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Shallow Grave (1994)

R  |   |  Crime, Thriller  |  10 February 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 43,502 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 138 user | 80 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash.



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14 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Victoria Nairn ...
Jean Marie Coffey ...
Leonard O'Malley ...
David Scoular ...
Cash Machine Victim
Grant Glendinning ...
Bath Victim
Victor Eadie ...
Freezer victim
Robert David MacDonald ...


The new flatmate of three preexisting roommates turns up mysteriously dead but in possession of a large sum of money. When the roommates decide to keep it for themselves, their action sets in motion a destructive chain of events that spiral out of control. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The award winning thriller that'll bury you with laughs. See more »


Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of strong grisly violence, and for some language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Petits meurtres entre amis  »

Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£734,340 (UK) (20 January 1995)


$2,881,508 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert Carlyle was offered the part of David. Carlyle would go on to play the part of Daffy in a future film by Danny Boyle, The Beach (2000), another character that was extremely paranoid and lives in isolation for a good portion of the story. See more »


Several scenes supposedly take place at night, yet when the stairwell is featured, sunlight is pouring in through the windows. See more »


David Stephens: You paid 500 pounds for this?
Juliet Miller: That's what it cost, David.
David Stephens: No, no, that's what you paid for it. 500 pounds is what you paid for it. We don't know how much it cost us yet. For you two to have a good time, we don't know the cost of that yet.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits appear over images of the three main characters in happier times, ironically all laughing hysterically. See more »


References The Omen (1976) See more »


Happy Heart
Written by James Last and Jackie Rae
Performed by Andy Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

House Of Straw, Ton Of Bricks
17 October 2005 | by (Arlington, VA.) – See all my reviews

See, there's these three little piggies (Ewan McGregor, Kerry Fox and Christopher Eccleston) who live together as flatmates in Glasgow. The one thing that ties them together more than the genial contempt they have for one another, is the DOUBLE amount of contempt they have for everyone else. To take in extra rent money, they decide to let a spare room in their place. After having a lot of fun at the expense of many 'unsuitable' candidates, they decide to award the spot to a very dodgy looking character named Hugo, (Keith Allen), who has a shady demeanor and a rather large suitcase.

This situation is ripe for betrayal, deceit, coercion and oh, let's not leave out murder, shall we? It's dynamite with an unlit fuse, just missing a match. And that 'match' is finally struck when the three roommates find a nude Hugo dead the next morning in his room, and that in his mysterious suitcase is more cash than the three of them combined will make in a year.

Anybody hear a sizzling noise in the background? That's nothing. The explosion is coming, and it is a DOOZY! Director Danny Boyle and writer John Hodge certainly know their noir thrillers, and they skilfully weave the strands of this twisted story together like a Hitchcock chamber piece, filtered through the gimlet-eyed gaze of the Coen Brothers. With a Glaswegan accent, of course.

The acting is top notch, especially Ewan in his first major movie role. The realistic outcome of each nerve-wracking situation ratchets up the suspense and the tension without a single false note, as the 'straw' friendships of these three not-so-likable characters goes up in a puff of spontaneous combustion...all for, as the O'Jays put it so aptly, "the love of money."

And speaking of classic songs, a great director knows how to infuse a scene with just the right touch of irony, comedy or even downright horror, such as what Quentin Tarantino did with the confectionery pop standard from Stealer's Wheel, "Stuck In The Middle With You." I could tell from the word 'go' that Danny Boyle would be one artist to watch, just through the way he took a gooey retro classic like Andy Williams' "Happy Heart," and infused it with chillingly fitting gallows humor for GRAVE'S jaw-dropping ending, that will stay with you long after you've seen it...even after the second or third time! No matter how many times I watch it, it still hits me like a ton of...well, you know...

Highly recommended, with great scoring work from artists like Simon Boswell, Leftfield and Tomandandy.

35 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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