hits home when a young couple is separated during a citywide
bomb attack on Los Angeles. The infrastructure is crippled,
the air is raining unknown toxic agents and Lexi is trying to
get home to her husband Brad before it's too late.
Right At Your Door is most probably right up the
Bush administration’s alley.
imagines a doomsday scenario where a chemical attack has just
struck right in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. But this
being an indie film that was nominated for the Grand Jury
Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, you won’t see the
bombs going off nor the scale of their destruction.
it takes a more intimate approach by focusing on the consequent
struggles of a young couple who, like the other millions of
people in the city, are caught unprepared by the scale of
is an unemployed musician and this perfectly ordinary weekday
morning, he sees his wife, Lexi, off as she heads to work
downtown. The pair live in the suburbs. Not long after Lexi
leaves, Brad hears an emergency newscast over the radio that
multiple explosions have been heard in the heart of the Los
Angeles city. Rushing outside, Brad sees a giant plume of
smoke enveloping the city skyline.
first instinct is to rush to get his wife. But subsequent
news reports confirm that dirty bombs were let off and residents
are advised against entering the city. Soon after, roads to
the blast site are soon cordoned off. Brad realises he has
little choice but to stay at home and wait for news of his
with a mechanic that came to seek refuge in his house, they
follow the media’s instructions to seal up the house
to quarantine themselves from the effect of the deadly toxins
spreading quickly through the wind.
Chris Gorak does a great job cranking up the tension in the
film’s first half. He keeps the story tightly centred
on Brad to convey his understandable confusion and helplessness
in the midst of the disaster. But the film really comes into
its own in the second half when an ash-covered Lexi returns
to the house to find it boarded and sealed.
is Brad to do? Should he let her in knowing that she may very
well be contaminated? Or should he let her remain outside
and continue to be exposed to the lethal gas? Brad chooses
the latter, and it is heartbreaking to watch as Lexi slowly
succumbs to the effects of the poison in the air, coughing
ever more violently and growing ever weaker. The film keeps
the emotions raw and visceral so you’ll feel every minute
of Brad and Lexi’s struggle.
given the current political climate, one might cynically say
that this film is shamelessly tapping into the atmosphere
of fear engendered by the Bush administration and their war
on terror. But Gorak here cleverly avoids these political
overtones to keep his story firmly and tightly wound around
Brad and Lexi so that everything that unfolds feels real and
is perhaps the greatest achievement of the movie- to let you
believe that if and when such a disaster does strike, Brad
and Lexi’s predicament may very well happen right at
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Commentary with Chris Gorak: The writer-director
of the film talks with Empire Magazine’s David Hews
about the making of his debut feature length movie. Not particularly
interesting so have patience if you intend to sit through
Interview with Chris Gorak: Chris Gorak talks
about how the movie came to be- from its conceptualization
as an idea to its final execution on screen.
Filmmaking Tips from Chris Gorak: Amateur
filmmakers may want to take a leaf out of Gorak’s book
for advice on how to do a high-concept movie on a tight budget.
Audio is well presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 that enhances
the feeling of claustrophobia and fear in the movie. The disc
also boasts a nice visual transfer which comes as a blessing
because of the movie’s dull color palette.
by Gabriel Chong