I had my eye on Shallow Grave (1994) for quite some time. This happens to be Danny Boyle’s directorial debut and I am a fan of his so I figured I had nothing to lose! Thankfully I was not disappointed. I give this film the rating: Must See Film.
Shallow Grave directed by Danny Boyle
Juliet (Kerry Fox), David (Christopher Eccleston), and Alex (a twelve year-old Ewan McGregor) are roommates in Edinburgh. After a series of ruthless interviews they decide Hugo is a great choice to rent the extra room in their home. Not long after Hugo moves in they find him dead in his bedroom. They also find a briefcase full of money. Wanting to keep the cash for themselves they do not report his death and try to handle matters themselves. Unfortunately, Hugo is being sought out by two gangsters.
I have only seen a handful of Boyle’s other films (28 Days Later, Steve Jobs, Trainspotting) but I love the tension he often employs. This movie was no exception and I was on the edge of my seat and generally uncomfortable through some parts. At one point, David begins living in the attic and decides to make holes in the ceiling to keep tabs on his housemates. The thought of being spied on makes my skin crawl.
The storytelling is great! The situations his characters find themselves in are interesting. Although those situations may be a little far fetched the way his characters react is usually very human and relatable. I hate to keep referencing Christopher but he is the character we see the most change in. He goes from quiet, responsible accountant to paranoid, ruthless voyeur.
The movie does move a little slow at parts but I wouldn’t consider it a detriment. If you are looking for a film that boasts attempted murder and treachery look no further than Shallow Grave!