A Simple Plan ★★★★

"Nobody would ever believe that you'd be capable of doing what you've done."

One of Sam Raimi's forgotten gems before he was given the Spider-Man job. A Simple Plan is Fargo without the quirky characters and pitch-black humour but instead you get something, while similar in plot, a lot darker and a little bit more disturbing in it's characterizations.

Perfectly cast, Bill Paxton excels as Hank Mitchell, the small-town gentlemanly nobody and a father-to-be who's temptation for a better existence clouds his usual morally-sound judgement when he finds 4 million dollars in a crashed plane. Soon, under pressure from his mentally-challenged brother (Billy Bob Thornton, brilliant), his drunk red-neck buddy and his manipulating wife (Bridget Fonda), Hank makes a serious of errors that see violence and blackmail spill over into the peaceful lives of a snow covered community in small-town America.

Raimi's usual frenetic direction is replaced with a more sombre style, allowing for the plot to tighten like a vice but with of air of unease as these relatively harmless human beings begin to do the heinous of things to protect their windfall. While the entire cast is excellent, Bridget Fonda is a stand-out as the almost sociopathic wife who manipulates her husband causing events to spiral out of control.

If you haven't seen A Simple Plan, track it down. While it disappeared at the box-office in 1998, it was nominated for an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay but faded into the "forgotten classic" category soon after. A neat thriller that freezes your blood.