We work ourselves to the bone every day in whatever menial job we have. And most of us never expect the day to end with a gun pointed at their face. So let’s dive into director/writer Kyler Wilson’s hostage thriller, Best Laid Plans.
Remy (co-writer Natalie Ruffino Wilson) is a single mother working tirelessly as a house cleaner because her deadbeat ex-husband refuses to pay child support for her daughters, Zoey and Maddie. But, if she stays focused and works hard, Remy may just find a way out of her financial hole. But, those dreams are crushed when her insurance company refuses to cover Maddie’s seizure medication.
After a long day of cleaning, Remy gets a last-minute job cleaning the home of Dr. Wyatt (Dean Shortland), who wants to throw a party and will pay extra for her trouble. Desperately in need of some cash, Remy reluctantly agrees. However, mid-way through the job, Remy walks in on Dr. Wyatt tied up and a Man (Kyler Wilson) pointing a gun at him, wanting to know where the safe is. As Remy tries to run, the Man catches her and binds her with duct tape. Now she’s the second hostage. Remy employs a few simple survival skills and McGuyer-esque tactics to escape. Meanwhile, the Man uses some good old-fashioned psychological warfare threatening harm against one to get what he needs out of the other.
“…mid-way through the job, Remy walks in on Dr. Wyatt tied up and a Man pointing a gun at him…”
Best Laid Plans is an indie thriller as Remy finds herself in an impossible situation (mid-home invasion) and needs to use her wits to survive. Within the film’s simple setup, Wilson and Ruffino Wilson tell a complex and layered story. The Wilsons are clever in moving their story along, like a chess game. Moves are made to divert the Man’s attention, but then he makes a counter-move to foil any chance of escape.
All good thrillers come with twists and turns, and Best Laid Plans has its fair share of them. Without crossing into spoiler territory, there’s not much more I can say, other than fans of thrillers will know what’s coming and the build-up to it is well done. I’ve said too much.
My only criticism is the bookends. The movie is about the home invasion, but a lot of time is spent on the setup, which establishes Remy’s backstory. On the other end, a great deal of time is spent on the aftermath of the events. I felt like too much time was spent getting to the action, and when it was all said and done, too much time was spent wrapping it up.
What I appreciate most about Best Laid Plans is its independent spirit. Considering that Kyler Wilson and Natalie Ruffino Wilson wrote, starred, and directed the film, it leads me to believe this is their “baby.” They had a story to tell and made it happen on their terms… with a long list of producers. The thriller could have easily been made with big named actors, but I feel like it would have lost all its charm.
Best Laid Plans is available on all streaming platforms. For more information, visit the Best Laid Plans Instagram account.
"…a complex and layered story."