If there is one thing the horror genre is known for when it isn’t being campy or silly, is the seeming limitless cruelty that people can subject each other to. While it is easy to say that the kills in Friday the 13th are more digestible than Hostel these are still films about people’s lives being snuffed out. Films though have evolved through the years from a killer killing, to why is the killer killing, to what caused the killer to become a killer. Concrete Plans take a group of men from many different backgrounds and puts them in a difficult situation until blood begins to boil.
The job seemed simple enough, a three-month remodeling job on a house in the country, get paid, and move on. The homeowner may act like an ass, but as long as they were getting paid they could bite their lips. Little did the workers know that the so-called rich owner was swimming in debt and could no longer afford to pay them. He thought he was going to get away and be able to go lay low until his money troubles were over, but the workers have found him out, and they aren’t happy.
What makes Concrete Plans so scary is the situation is one that many of us could find ourselves in and the pressure it would put on us. Money and financial security are fleeting now more than ever and can keep one awake at night, so being toss into a financial situation with someone who is snotty and entitled could be infuriating. While most of us would not resort to murder in a high-stress money situation, the film establishes that these are not mentally stable men and with the two instigators be type-A personalities the rest could find themselves in a dangerous position if they do not play along.
While the tension is palatable, to say the least through almost all of Concrete Plans, there is a limit to how much it can be built up before it gets exhausting. When it is finally time for the crew to get their back pay in blood it is filmed very artfully so it doesn’t feel gratuitous, but later that stops being the case. From there the film just becomes tiring with each scene raising the tension till it becomes difficult to stomach and you just want the movie to end.
Money troubles can make us feel more emotions than we ever thought possible. As with anything things can get out of control when all of those emotions find a target to be directed at, especially if that target is deemed unjust and cruel. Concrete Plans shows the cruelty that we can bestow upon another human being if antagonized into it and how low good people will stoop when they have been pushed into a corner. While this isn’t an easy film to watch, it is one that is relevant, well-acted, and filmed brilliantly.
7 out of 10