A group of mismatched builders travel to the wilds of Wales to carry out a renovation project on a country property owned by a distinctly-dodgy looking (and, as it turns out, financially insecure) young aristocrat and his girlfriend. They‘re a tasty bunch; burly Bob (Steve Spiers) is the foreman, his cocky nephew Steve (Charley Palmer Rothwell) is easily-influenced and bubbling with youthful arrogance and Dave (William Thomas) is older, more experienced and cynical but with a ripe Welsh sense of humour. Viktor (Goran Bogdan) is a moody East European providing for his family back home and the aggressive, volatile Jim (Chris Reilly) has his own dark secrets.
Concrete Plans initially plays out like a slightly psychopathic version of Auf Weidersehn Pet – strangers thrown together in manual labour – before taking a turn for the very dark and very violent when it becomes apparent that their employer Simon (Kevin Guthrie channelling Ewan McGregor) can’t meet his financial obligations and, alongside his oily financial adviser Richard (James Lance) is planning to do a disappearing act with some hastily-liquidated funds.
A remarkably accomplished debut feature from writer/director William Jewell, Concrete Plans is more of a dark thriller than a horror film but the violence that erupts is brutal, bloody and unnerving – the film’s title might appear a little clumsy but its relevance becomes horribly evident as events takes a turn for the grisly – and the whole film is gritty, uncomfortable and suffused with a growing sense of menace and unease that perfectly suits the cold and remote location, miles away from civilisation. It’s a film with no real heroes, just ordinary working men trapped in an untenable situation and faced with terrible choices making the wrong decisions leading to terrible consequences. Concrete Plans is a rock solid Welsh winner.