HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Shallow Grave Absolute MurderBuy this film here.
Year: 1994
Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor, Ken Stott, Keith Allen, Colin McCredie, Peter Mullan, Leonard O'Malley, Tony Curran, John Hodge, Robert David MacDonald, Gary Lewis
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: If you cannot trust your friends, who can you trust? These three flatmates think they know everything there is to know about each other, such as what kind of person they would like to rent the spare room of their plush Edinburgh apartment, and they know that nobody they have seen so far has been up to their high and exacting standards. That's before Hugo (Keith Allen) appears, and doctor Juliet (Kerry Fox) invites him in for a chat; she reports back to journalist Alex (Ewan McGregor) and accountant David (Christopher Eccleston) that they have found their man. They have questions for him naturally, but are confident their choice is a good one...

One of those questions being, have you ever killed anyone, and the cool, calm and collected Hugo replies with a no, although we suspect he knows people who have. Those suspicions are confirmed throughout the next eighty minutes or so, as one of the bright spots of nineties Brit cinema plays out, although for a bright spot it is very dark. One of the strengths of the film was not so much in its casting, with semi-famous actors in key roles (McGregor had just starred in Dennis Potter's Lipstick on Your Collar on TV, Fox was known internationally to a degree for An Angel at My Table, and so on), but in former doctor John Hodge's razor sharp scripting, that went like a rocket so you did not have time to pause and reflect over anything improbable.

Another clever aspect to that script was not to make the three flatmates too sympathetic, indeed they're a bunch of smug bastards as seen by their cruel treatment of the potential tenants they interview. With this established early on, we're not too bothered if something truly awful happens to them as if we liked them a lot more then the story would be far too painful to watch. It's a tightrope director Danny Boyle, in his big screen debut, walked with great skill, bringing out the pitch black comedy of a film that could too easily have fallen victim to the grim, too cynical for its own good affliction that occured in too many of its British peers. The plot begins in earnest not once Hugo has moved in, but once he has been there a couple of days.

Well, he's there in spirit at least as the trio wonder where he's got to after one day, and note that his car is still parked outside so he cannot have gone far. The door to his room is locked from the inside, so what possible alternative do they have but to barge the door down and see if he's still there - he is, as it turns out. Or his corpse is, having succumbed to what we assume was a drugs overdose, though as Juliet is telephoning the emergency services, Alex makes a discovery under the bed, a suitcase full of thousands upon thousands of pounds. Needless to say, Juliet hangs up and the three of them start scheming to work out ways to keep their hands on the cash.

Ah, if only it were that simple. But with every simple plan that goes against one's morals, there is a price to pay, and the trio certainly pay it as they decide to dispose of the body, deny all knowledge of Hugo, and live off the proceeds of their machinations, no questions asked. Except they might not be asking questions, but the associates of the deceased are on his trail, and they're not very nice men; that's not to mention the police detective, superbly played by Ken Stott, who is sniffing around. There's more to this, as the actual business of cutting up a body, easy enough in other movie thrillers, here has serious psychological consequence and David, the poor sap elected to take care of it, goes round the bend, a welcome touch for the suspense of the piece and yet another example of how well made Shallow Grave was. While its contemporaries may be looking a little old hat, here was one Britflick that stood the test of time, lean, mean and impressive as ever. Music by Simon Boswell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2400 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Danny Boyle  (1956 - )

British director, from TV, who started his movie career with two big homegrown hits: Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. His Hollywood efforts suggested he's better when based in the U.K., as both 2005's kids comedy Millions and the hit zombie shocker 28 Days Later were big improvements on his two previous features, A Life Less Ordinary and The Beach.

Alex Garland, who wrote 28 Days Later, then scripted Boyle's ambitious sci-fi epic Sunshine. Boyle next enjoyed worldwide and Oscar success with Slumdog Millionaire, the biggest hit of his career, which he followed with true life survival drama 127 Hours and tricksy thriller Trance, in between staging the 2012 London Olympics to great acclaim. Business biopic Steve Jobs was a flop, however.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: