199) Shallow Grave (1994) Dir: Danny Boyle Date Released: February 1995 Date Seen: June 26th, 2009 Rating: 4/5
Dry as its theatrical, Hitchcockian set-up may be, Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave delivers a ridiculously satisfying and particularly nasty grand guignol finale. Bit by bit, its three self-absorbed young protags are driven mad by the exciting and potentially fatal possibilities that present themselves after a prospective flatmate dies suddenly and leaves behind a valise full of cash. The trio's ability to choose their fates from a number of multiple choice decisions becomes their undoing (How to keep an eye on everything? One roomie or the other? Draw straws to do the deed?). The film's winning combination of black humor and tension comes from Boyle's ability to make that sea of choices seem comic at first--their trip to buy shovels and hammers to dispose of the body macabrely sends up their pampered, omnivorous consumer mentalities--and then oppressive as they become decided by paranoia and greed. Definitely one of my Boyle's most consistent and sustainable flicks.