What would you do if your city was attacked by terrorists and all but obliterated by dirty bombs? What would you do if the government told you to seal your house for fear of a biological agent, and your wife was left outside? Right at Your Door explores what one man would do facing such an attack.
Right at Your Door is what "24" would be like from a citizen's perspective. Nuclear bombs go off in the Kiefer Sutherland TV show more times than the characters take a crap, but the show never explores how others react to the situation. The movie, written and directed by Chris Gorak, is an interesting examination of what an attack would look like to the ordinary person; it isn't always completely believable, but considering that it must have had a pretty low budget, Right at Your Door far exceeds expectations.
The movie is impressive in that it establishes the horror and confusion that a widespread terrorist attack would inflict on ordinary citizens very well. Gorak wisely applies his visual effects budget as he captures the essence of what a bombed-out Los Angeles would look like without showing the actual explosions or carnage up close. To do so probably would have resulted in cheesy and cheap-looking effects, and instead, from a distance, he keeps the film within the frame of the lead character's perspective and establishes the eerie sensation that something really bad is going on without knowing the full details.
Right at Your Door stars Rory Cochrane, and Cochrane (A Scanner Darkly) does an effective, though not stupendous job in the role. For a movie that is pretty much about one man, he holds his own, though at times you question his reasoning skills. Would this be how you act given the circumstances? Possibly. Would you go so far as to lock your own wife out of your house because she might have fallen ill to a biological agent? I doubt it. Of course, that speaks more to the screenplay than the acting; for what it's worth, Cochrane and his "wife" Mary McCormack hold their own.
The movie isn't remarkable, but Right at Your Door is a good first entry for director Gorak and an entertaining film all around. The twist ending is a bit odd and never really explained, but for what it's worth, this is a pretty good little drama-thriller. Now, about the title...
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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