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Right at Your Door (2006): Excuse Me, Ma’am, Do You Have a Minute to–[SLAM]

Right at Your Door (Chris Gorak, 2006)

 

A government official in a camo hazmat suit surrounded by falling snow decorates the movie poster.

There’s a nuclear winter joke to be made here but it’s too late at night.
photo credit: Wikipedia

I’ve had Right at Your Door sitting in my Amazon movie wishlist for I don’t know how long—probably since it first came out. Once I resubscribed to Netflix, I moved it straight into the DVD queue, and when it showed up for Instant Streaming, I moved it over and watched it within a couple of days (given the size my my Instant queue—oh, excuse me, My List—that happens approximately once in a blue moon). I wish, given all that, I could say it’s a better movie than it is. It’s not an entirely awful one, but it certainly didn’t live up to “I’ve been waiting seven years to see this”.

Rory Cochrane stares at a radio in a still from the film.

“Five hundred channels and I can’t find the Kings…”
photo credit: Rotten Tomatoes

I will tell you right off in the synopsis that if you’re watching this one at Netflix Instant, this is another one of those movies where if I had implemented it, the Netflix Synopsis Accuracy meter would be sitting right there at zero. The Netflix Synopsis had me believing that Brad (Argo‘s Rory Cochrane), our hero, is sitting in his house just outside the radius of the dirty bomb attacks that hit Los Angeles at the beginning of the movie, becoming increasingly crazier and more paranoid, to the point where he’s gibbering and drooling in the corner, eating his wife Lexi (K-PAX‘s Mary McCormick) after cooking her thigh over a bonfire or something. I’m sure there’s a way that could be farther than what actually happens, but I can’t offhand think of it. Instead, Lexi goes off to work, the dirty bombs hit, Brad’s at home camping out with the neighbor’s gardener, Alvaro (Scarface‘s Tony Perez), and trying to reach Lexi via cellphone, which is of course impossible after a terrorist attack. There’s also a neighborhood kid, Timmy (Scotty Noyd Jr., who had the misfortune to be in Dark House), who’s afraid to go home because…well, that gets into the second half of the movie, at which point we are heading deep into spoiler territory. There are also government agents. Talking about them is not getting into spoiler territory, because if you’ve seen any two movies about terrorist attacks that contain government agents, you know which side they’re on.

Cochrane on one side of a door and McCormick on the other in a still from the film.

“I’d let you in, but I’m watching porn right now. Can you give me three minutes?”
photo credit: 2flashgames.com

The setup is good, if a little understated; I figured Gorak was just taking his time getting the tension ramped up. And then it never got started…and never got started…and never got started. Drama, not thriller. But a little tension works well in a drama, and besides that, it’s obvious from the pacing and the sequence of events that this is meant to be a thriller, so in the end, it simply misses the mark. Still, you can see glimpses of what could have been, and if that works for you, give this one a shot. **

 


Trailer.

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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