Right at your door (Lionsgate)

Video and DVD

Right at your door

2005, Rated R

Where will you be when the bombs go off? This question is key to the jarring, grossly ignored, low-budget Sundance fave Right at Your Door. In the vein of 1983's The Day After and Peter Watkins' 1965 classic, The War Game, the film speculates on the devastation caused by a weapon of mass destruction. But, unlike those thrillers' nuclear scenarios, Right at Your Door's terror is delivered in a more contemporary fashion — dirty bombs that rain chemical hell onto Los Angeles. Rather than show a wide-ranging scope, the film isolates the terror to its effects on a married couple played by Rory Cochrane and Mary McCormack who find themselves separated when the bombs go off. At home alone during the blasts, the husband follows emergency orders to secure the house with duct tape and plastic — a decision that proves tragic when his wife finally arrives after hours of exposure to toxins. Unable to enter the house for fear of contamination, she must remain outside in a world slowly dying while her husband watches on in supposed safety inside. Right at Your Door leaves a stark impression. The couple's heartbreaking dilemma leads to immediate self-questioning. Would I do the same in a similar situation? The events portrayed are all speculatively feasible — a realization that infects a very real fear and paranoia in the viewer. The film's low budget furthers this vibe. In lieu of big-money theatrics, the destruction is relayed via media broadcasts or viewed from afar in glimpses. The action is kept at a distance, but the realism of its delivery makes it all the more frightening. Grade: A

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