Action / Crime / Thriller
Action / Crime / Thriller
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.
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January 18, 2016 at 12:19 AM
Britain's Best 'Soft' Thriller
First of all I have to say that I was satisfied with this movie. Ewan McGregor acts terrific. He looks very gentile and young in this movie and appears in leading role. "Shallow Grave" is a low budget film, like the other Euro-origin movies. The film has a way-out beginning. I also liked the manner of telling which made by the Christopher Ecclestone. His questioning attitude carve out the main theme of the movie. A great movie for suspense fanciers.
A great first film from director Danny Boyle
Friends Juliet, David and Alex are looking for a flatmate to share their Edinburgh home; after interviewing several people they give the room to Hugo. Soon there is no sign of him; at first they think he just left but his car is still parked outside and his room is locked from the inside. They force their way in and discover Hugo's dead body along with a suitcase full of money. It doesn't take them long to decide to keep the money and dispose of the body.
Things soon start to go wrong; they draw lots to decide who should remove the body's identifying features and David loses
after this deed the shy character starts to become unhinged. In order to stop the others spending the money he hides it in the water tank in the flat's loft then sits up there guarding it. The money is not unmissed; a couple of murderous thugs are looking for it and they are using extreme methods to question anybody who might know where it is; inevitably they finally discover where Hugo was living. At this point Juliet and Alex discover just how dangerous David has become. By now each of them has determined to take the money and leave
that will be far from easy.
This is a great little film populated by surprisingly unlikeable characters. From the opening scene, where the trio belittle most of those applying to become their flat mate. Some people may be but off by these characters but I found they made the film more interesting. The story is fairly simple but still gripping; it is also quite disturbing at times; especially towards the end when there are some wince inducing moments. The small cast did a fine job; Kerry Fox and Ewan McGregor impress as Juliet and Alex but it is Christopher Eccleston who really shines as David as he becomes more and more unhinged. While these three dominate the film they are ably supported by Ken Stott, as DI McCall and Keith Allen as Hugo. Overall I'd certainly recommend this but it certainly isn't for younger viewers or those who think a film should feature at least one likable main character.
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An overrated bore with repulsive characters
Clearly, Danny Boyle is a self-indulgent man. The director has wowed critics and won Oscars for fare such as TRAINSPOTTING and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, but I'm one of those who doesn't see what all the fuss is about. The only two films of his I've genuinely liked – SUNSHINE and 28 DAYS LATER – have been genre flicks in which the director's so-called style has been put on the back burner out of necessity. The problem of Boyle is that he doesn't know how to direct people, which is why I could ignore his flaws when I had pretend zombies and sci-fi stuff to distract me from his shortcomings. But SHALLOW GRAVE, along with TRAINSPOTTING, marks the director at his worst, saddled with directing a script populated by totally unlikeable characters whom you hope will just die from the very outset.
The story in this one is predictable and enlivened by nothing. The trio of main characters are repulsive bullies and the actors seem to think exaggerating every word and expression constitutes acting; not so. McGregor is annoying, Fox is despicable, and Eccleston just about gets by with a kooky turn. There's also Ken Stott, doing the detective stuff years before Rebus, and a naked Keith Allen to put you off. Things get more unbelievable as the film goes on, with bodies buried out in the woods, cars rolled off cliffs, and people hiding out in lofts. Then there's a so-called twist ending which you can see a mile off, and you're left wondering "is that it?". This film is a total bore. For an example of how to do this kind of story justice, look no further than Sam Raimi's excellent A SIMPLE PLAN.