Shallow Grave

February 10th, 1995


Shallow Grave

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Still of Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston and Kerry Fox in Shallow GraveStill of Christopher Eccleston in Shallow GraveStill of Ewan McGregor in Shallow GraveStill of Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston and Kerry Fox in Shallow GraveStill of Ewan McGregor and Danny Boyle in Shallow GraveStill of Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston and Kerry Fox in Shallow Grave

Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash.

Release Year: 1994

Rating: 7.4/10 (26,347 voted)

Critic's Score: 67/100

Director: Danny Boyle

Stars: Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor

To avoid spoiling the movie this plot summary is very brief. It starts when three people living together in a four bedroom flat are looking for a house mate. The interviews they conduct are very unorthodox and very funny. Eventually the three agree on one prospective tenant. He moves in, locks his door, and is not seen again. After a couple of days the three become curious and break in to his room. What follows is an amazing piece of cinema and to say more would ruin it.

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 - Visitor
Gary Lewis - Visitor
Jean Marie Coffey - Goth
Peter Mullan - Andy
Leonard O'Malley - Tim
David Scoular - Cash Machine Victim
Grant Glendinning - Bath Victim
Victor Eadie - Freezer victim
Robert David MacDonald - Lumsden

Taglines: The award winning thriller that'll bury you with laughs.

Release Date: 10 February 1995

Filming Locations: 6 North East Circus Place, New Town, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross: $20,500,000 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Shallow Grave marked the feature debut for a number of its creators. It was the first feature that Danny Boyle directed, the debut for screenwriter John Hodge, and the first feature starring role for Ewan McGregor.

Continuity: When Alex and David are fighting on the floor David pins Alex to the floor and grabs a knife from the worktop to stab through Alex's shoulder. The knife on the worktop is regular 14 centimeter kitchen knife which would not go through Alex's shoulder. However the knife through Alex's shoulder and the floorboard later on in the same scene is at least 30 centimeters.

Detective-Inspector McCall: And the other three people living in the flat?
David Stephens: There are only two other people living in the flat.

User Review

A great film


Danny Boyle seemed like he was destined for directorial greatness before the surprise success of "Trainspotting" got to his head. His first two pictures, however, are wonderful. "Shallow Grave" is one of the best modern thrillers I have seen in a long time.

The story centers around three British roommates who are trying to rent the empty room in their flat out to another person. When they finally do find a man to rent the flat out to, he dies in his sleep, leaving behind a briefcase full of a whole lot of money. What to do?

Much like "Trainspotting" of a few years later, "Shallow Grave" has very dark comical undertones to it. Unlike "Trainspotting" however, it is a much more serious film. Like Sam Raimi's "A Simple Plan" of four years later, it explores a moral dilemma between three friends on what to in a situation when you find a lot of money that does not belong to you. Do you compromise your morals for the money or do you do the right thing? One is never quite sure how the story will turn out and as you approach the ending of the film, you are never quite sure which one of the three friends is more sinister than the next, which makes the twists in the last part of the film such a darkly hilarious and chilling delight.

Films like "Shallow Grave" are exactly what independent filmmaking is all about. It's a smart, sleek and stylish film made on a small budget, driven by a cleaver story and interesting characters. Ewan McGregor and Christopher Eccleston both give great performances in this film. `Shallow Grave' is miles better than any thriller Hollywood has come up with in the last 10-15 years (if not longer). I give it an 8 out of 10.


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