Shallow Grave [1994]

The first feature from director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew MacDonald, and screenwriter John Hodge (who went on to make the enormously popular Trainspotting, the not-so-well-received A Life Less Ordinary, and The Beach), Shallow Grave begins with three obnoxious roommates mockingly interrogating applicants who want to share their spacious flat. The guy they finally choose doesn't last long--they find him dead from a drug overdose along with a suitcase full of money that he no longer needs. They decide to keep the money; this of course requires that they discreetly dispose of the body, which proves to be a gruesome, traumatic business. They begin to suspect each other of betrayal and become increasingly deranged. The movie wants to be a satirical comment on the greed of British yuppies but is more an exercise in stylish paranoia, where the color of the walls matters more than why the characters behave the way they do. The clever cinematography and macabre humor make Shallow Grave worth watching, just don't expect to like anyone in it. Starring the very hip trio of Kerry Fox (An Angel at My Table, The Last Days of Chez Nous), Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Velvet Goldmine, Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace), and Christopher Eccleston (Jude, Elizabeth). --Bret Fetzer

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