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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.45%
Worth A Look55.17%
Just Average: 17.24%
Pretty Crappy: 24.14%
Sucks: 0%

3 reviews, 11 user ratings

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Right at Your Door
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by Erik Childress

"There’s No Color On The Terror Alert For' Weak Thriller'"
2 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2006 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: How many terror alerts can prepare us for the possibility of a “dirty bomb” attack? You know the new terminology. No one talks nuclear anymore. That was the second season of 24. Ancient history. Even “suitcase bomb” has gone the way of Wag the Dog. No, these bombs are dirty and do bad things involving gas like a bad Thai meal. Perhaps it’s not best to make fun since the threat should be taken serious enough at least by the men-in-black we pray are protecting us behind the scenes. Out in the open we’ve had so many false alarms and fear mongering in the media that no amount of color-bar changing is going to prompt a run on duct tape until the actual event occurs. Right At Your Door takes us through such a period, but provides so many false moments of its own that its impossible to take seriously.

Brad (Rory Cochrane) and Lexi (Mary McCormack) have just moved into their new home in Los Angeles. One morning as she heads into the city for work, news comes over the radio that a serious of explosions have rocked specific targets and is spreading unknown toxic fumes over an unsuspecting public. Brad furiously does his best to get to his wife, but with cops getting a move-on and closing off routes it’s back to the homefront with a whole lot of tape and plastic. A neighborhood gardener (Tony Perez) with nowhere to run joins Brad in quarantining themselves off while the news reports provide little update other than “another explosion has gone off.”

The first 20 or so minutes are right on track as they should be. The terror and instant confusion of the moment are spot-on and the makings of a good thriller are in place. That’s when Lexi makes it back home and our brain begins coming to. Brad, without giving it a second thought, won’t let her in. This should strike a rather interesting moral/health dilemma, but its just a big fat “no” on his part. Considering the circumstances, any homeowner who has just spent hours Scotch-guarding every crevice to ward off severe coughing fits from a foreign influence would naturally be hesitant in letting strangers into his home. You know, like gardeners. But any husband worth his salt is going to let his wife in the house, with the possible exception of her being taken over by bodysnatching aliens.

This kneejerk reaction stops the film dead cold in many ways. First, because it’s completely unbelievable that any reasonable human being would refuse any member of their immediate family shelter, especially if its just one-on-one and there is no conflict with infecting OTHER relatives. Plus, she’s the suit-wearing breadwinner and he’s the struggling musician, so clearly some kind of deep love must exist between these two since her salary is clearly paying for the one-story suburban. If Jose Handyman had been the one protesting, it would have been easier to swallow, but even he just kind of stands around not wanting to get involved in the domestic squabbles of Oprah & Stedman. Qualifying Brad for the DHU Award (“Douche Husband of the Universe”) is only the start of the problem with Chris Gorak’s script which then slows down to a crawl for Brad & Lexi to talk through the clear walls. And talk. And talk and talk and talk. What’s the old saying about sound and fury?

As if Gorak’s first act of business was to figure out how he could tell this story on a limited budget (i.e. cable guy hasn’t come – so no TV – and L.A. kinda looks like that with the smoke anyway) he then thought he could hold our interest by conversation (from a marriage that should be kaput after Brad’s actions) and by hiding Lexi from the questionable medical suit guys from the Scientific Elliptical Medical Emergency Nexus. And your eyes aren’t deceiving you once that acronym kicks in; the kind of comic spasm that has you doing a double-take as you piece the letters together and realize that Gorak actually tried to pull that off without abandoning his dramatic thriller aspirations. Right At Your Door may have been better off as a dark satire of terror alert paranoia seeing as its point-of-view is so off that one character gets both a comeuppance and a vindication in the end. Instead its another overstretched Rod Serling episode with misplaced irony and another reason to turn our heads the next time Homeland Security tries to sell us a yellow.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13557&reviewer=198
originally posted: 01/30/06 15:06:12
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Fantasia Film Festiva For more in the 2007 Fantasia Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/01/10 brian Interesting premise, some good moments, but ultimately unconvincing. 3 stars
2/08/09 Juliet Tense movie, great ending 4 stars
1/15/09 Shaun Wallner Kept me on the edge of the seat! 4 stars
3/12/08 Elizabeth Gripping, thought provoking. 4 stars
5/05/07 steve newman Watched Sky UK - thought might have seen more re the "dirty bombs" - great twist at end 3 stars
9/23/06 janet very moralistic - too long -she was good 3 stars
9/18/06 MP Bartley Very gripping. Threads meets Blair Witch meets 24. 4 stars
9/09/06 Pam This film was tedious. 2 stars
2/14/06 Dyon Wonderful movie Awesome cast 5 stars
1/28/06 xtc tense, flawed, and worthy 3 stars
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  DVD: 29-Jan-2008



Directed by
  Chris Gorak

Written by
  Chris Gorak

  Mary McCormack
  Rory Cochrane
  Tony Perez
  Scotty Noyd Jr.
  Max Kasch
  Jon Huertas

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