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Shallow Grave (1994)

Trailer
1:27 | Trailer
Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash.

Director:

Danny Boyle

Writer:

John Hodge
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Popularity
2,460 ( 1,528)
14 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kerry Fox ... Juliet Miller
Christopher Eccleston ... David Stephens
Ewan McGregor ... Alex Law
Ken Stott ... Detective Inspector McCall
Keith Allen ... Hugo
Colin McCredie ... Cameron
Victoria Nairn Victoria Nairn ... Woman Visitor
Gary Lewis ... Male Visitor
Jean Marie Coffey Jean Marie Coffey ... Goth
Peter Mullan ... Andy
Leonard O'Malley Leonard O'Malley ... Tim
David Scoular David Scoular ... Cash Machine Victim
Grant Glendinning Grant Glendinning ... Bath Victim
Victor Eadie Victor Eadie ... Freezer Victim
Robert David MacDonald Robert David MacDonald ... Lumsden
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Storyline

Three friends in Edinburgh, Scotland, interview and select a new flatmate. He's hardly moved in than they discover him dead in his room. An ethical dilemma ensues when they discover that he possessed a large amount of cash. Things get worse as the men whose money it was search for it, and the three friends start to turn on each other. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ewan McGregor's mother, Carol McGregor, has a cameo in the film as one of the prospective flatmates. See more »

Goofs

Boom mic reflected in the car window when Alex pushes Hugo's car into the lake. See more »

Quotes

Juliet Miller: It's about me and David.
Alex Law: Oh, the perfect couple, I should say.
Juliet Miller: You mustn't take it so badly.
Alex Law: Oh, don't worry. I'd do exactly the same thing, only I don't think I'm his type.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spoofed in Homestar Runner: Homestarloween Party (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Shallow Grave
Written by Neil Barnes and Paul Daley
Performed by Leftfield
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User Reviews

A great little thriller who's pace covers it's weaknesses
4 January 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Alex, David and Juliet share a flat together and are looking for a new flat mate to help fill the flat out. They see various applicants who don't fit until they meet the mysterious Hugo who is `interesting' and takes the room. Almost a week goes by and he doesn't come out of his room once, so they break down Hugo's door to find him dead with a suitcase full of money. To keep the money, they agree to destroy Hugo's body and draw straws to see who does the cutting. David ends up doing the deed but it affects him badly and he becomes increasingly erratic and paranoid. Meanwhile two criminals are dredging the underworld looking for the money.

Any film that can pose a moral question that stays with the audience is off to a good start and needs to build on it. That is the case here with the `would you keep the money' question - the answer being `yes' in terms of the characters here. The plot then sees the greed do what greed do best - feed paranoia and divisions between the characters. It's a theme that has been done before but is still well done here. The plot has weaknesses in logic and flow - David's paranoia doesn't totally go the way that seems most likely, rather the way that the film requires. Also the film doesn't build good characters. However what it does do well is turn up tension and drama very well - as the net closes and the characters start to turn on each other.

This is where the comparatively short running time helps - it keeps the whole thing from being onscreen too long to be analysed to death while you are watching it. I didn't question the weaknesses because I was caught up in the story. It has a good pace on it although it can't keep up the speed it set with it's stylish opening credits (which have been impersonated so often since). The final act is a fitting denouncement and, like I said, even if some of it doesn't totally scan the film moves along fast enough to cover it.

Despite the lack of really developed characters, the cast do really good jobs on the whole. McGregor is great - this and Trainspotting show how great it can be, just makes it harder to see him looking miserable in the Star Wars films. Fox is also very good, although she is a lot subtler than McGregor. However it is Eccleston who steals the film, even if he is required to go further than he should have in his downward spiral; contrast his character at the start and the end of the film, he did very well to gradually go from one to the other convincingly. The support cast is made up of familiar faces who don't really do that much - McCredie, Stott, Allen and Mullan.

Overall this is not without it's flaws but it works as a tight little moral thriller that is really enjoyable while watching it. And the ending will have you in the pub or on the message boards talking about it (in a good way).


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 February 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shallow Grave See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$105,614, 12 February 1995

Gross USA:

$2,079,569

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,079,569
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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