This writeup deals with Shallow Grave, the 1994 Movie. I do not, beyond this sentence, mention or reference Shallow Grave (1987) nor In a Shallow Grave (1988).
Shallow Grave (1994) - Weasello Rating: {>>>>} (Awesome!)

I'm not an ass, and I'll give you fair warning before I post any spoilers.


Details: Shallow Grave was released in 1994, and is of dark-comedy genre. I laughed several times, but the air of death was always abound. The official genre, though, is Drama / Thriller. The movie runs the standard approximate hour and a half.

"What's a little murder among friends?" - Movie Tagline

Personal Thoughts: In 1994, an amazing movie was produced. Shallow Grave. This movie may be a little bit more special to me than for other people, as it was one of the first movies I watched from a mature perspective, and it is one of my favorite movies to this day.

The movie was written by John Hodge and directed by Danny Boyle. I have since seen other works of theirs and I enjoy them all. But I think the warm fuzzies go to the actors.

The movie takes place almost exclusively in a British Flat, and involves three roommates, who are the main characters. Juliet Miller (Kerry Fox) is the outgoing roommate, David Stephens (Christopher Eccleston) is the conservative law-abiding roommate, and Alex Law (Ewan McGregor) is an abrasive journalist. McGregor delivers a star performance and his character is perfect in contrast to Eccleston's David, which was also wonderfully acted.

The characters in this movie were wonderfully developed and the dynamics of their interactions were incredible. (That was the most buzz-wordy no-meaning sentence I ever typed, yet oddly it's so true.)

The musical score was also excellent; original music was done by Simon Boswell, and I own the soundtrack. The hit band Left Field also performed 2 songs on the soundtrack, as well as a few other artists (Andy Williams is one).

Advertised Plot Synopsis:: Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash.

Basic Plot Synopsis: Juliet, David, and Alex are all roommates in a British flat. They have a spare room and decide to rent it out to Hugo, a seemingly nice guy. When they find Hugo dead, and a suitcase full of money of money under his bed, morals get tossed out the window and... as the phrase says, "Trouble Brewing."

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The Full Plot: Oh, it's more than just trouble brewing! After a heated debate, it is voted that they will keep the money. David, the conservative rule-following prissy goody-two-shoes obviously dislikes the idea but is somewhat tempted by the money. To dispose of the evidence, they decide to chop up the body and bury him, hence the title of the movie. Who gets the gruesome task of chopping up Hugo, though?

This is one of the first very tense moments in the movie. Sitting there is a dead body, and the three of them are drawing straws to see who gets to use the hacksaw.

Of course, the rule-obeying David draws the short straw, and must cut up the body. This was more than David's psyche could handle. He ends up going a little insane; not bloody-screaming, axe-wielding insane, but more of a hide-in-the-attic and drill-holes-in-the-ceiling-to-spy-on-your-roommates kind of insane. This is both very comical and creepy at the same time.

Unfortunately, Hugo was in trouble with The Mob and they want their money back. Life on the Flat gets even more complicated as the police become involved.

Normally I wouldn't care, but the ending of the movie is so amazing, and so perfect, that I simply can't tell you. You have to see it for yourself. And to nicely square the credits away is the Andy Williams song, Happy Heart. Not only is the song perfect on the basic level - ironically incredibly happy and sappy about the situation at the end of the movie - but it is somberly humorous to note that some while after writing this song, Andy Williams stabbed his wife to death.

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Observations: This is one of the few movies of its kind. It isn't a hack-n-slash, it isn't primarily a suspense thriller. It is a very well-thought out, intellectual thriller. It explores the psyche of 3 different people, and how they deal with stress and greed; daily stress, greed-stress, murder-stress, and afraid-for-your life stress. I think I just made up some of those stresses. But still; amazing movie.

Synopsis: You have to see this movie. Rent it tonight.



I accept comments and suggestions, /msg them to me. Sources: The holy IMDB.COM and the back of the box.

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