Brad and Lexi are an unremarkable couple, no different from anyone else. Brad is an out of work musician, while Lexi, his spouse and the sole breadwinner, must face the daily drudge of commuting to her office job each day. The two have just moved into a modest bungalow in suburban Los Angeles, leaving Brad with the task of unpacking their things while Lexi is off at work.
Thus begins the banality of everyday life that is the backdrop for director/screenwriter Chris Gorak's thriller "Right at Your Door". In slowly escalating, turn-of-the-screw fashion, Brad and Lexi's lives, along with those of the entire city of LA, are thrown into panic when, shortly after Lexi departs for work, terrorists detonate truck bombs at various points throughout the city, releasing unknown and potentially lethal contaminants into the air.
Most of us can remember where we were, and the confusion took hold during the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, and it's precisely this state that Gorak taps into with Right at Your Door. His masterstroke comes from the decision to leave the audience as much in the dark as Brad, as he struggles to glean more info from his radio and whatever phone calls he can make as the networks become overloaded.
His panic and subsequent survival decisions are motivated as much by self preservation as they are for concern about his wife, about whose welfare he knows nothing.
As the city descends into the grip of martial law, Brad faces the task of sealing himself inside the house with duct tape and plastic, only to find himself confronted by the dilemma of what to do about his wife when she manages to make her way home, gravely ill, though the toxic wasteland that LA has become.
The first half of Right at Your Door is as gripping as any movie you're likely to see, however Gorak's screenplay becomes bogged down in chatter between Brad and Lexi that allows the tension to evaporate and only serves to slow the film to a crawl. By the time the story arrives at its climax, it's almost a relief from the stagnation and boredom that nearly kills this initially promising film.
In the end, the movie relies on a twist to bring about its conclusion, and does manage to leave the viewer pondering several "what ifs", which, I suppose, was Gorak's intention. The sad part is, one of those "what ifs" is how much better this movie would have been with a tighter third act.
After Lexi leaves home to visit Central LA, there's a terrorist attack involving chemical bombs. After the attack, her musician husband, Brad, fails to find her and reluctantly seals himself inside his house. He will have to deal with this decision in the days to come.
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July 19, 2016 at 10:23 AM