Right at Your Door

Spooky, Twilight Zone-ish disaster movie about a young couple (Rory Cochrane and Mary McCormack) dealing with a devastating chemical bomb attack outside their Los Angeles home. The catch is that Brad (Cochrane), a stay-at-home husband and failed rock musician, is "lucky" enough to be inside when the bombs go off, while the careerist Lexi (McCormack) is caught right in the middle of the destruction. Like any ordinary paranoid citizen, Brad seals off their house with plastic sheeting and duct tape, and when a chemically poisoned Lexi finally makes it home past the police barricades, she's horrified that her husband won't let her in.

This realistic drama makes the most of its low budget: shot almost entirely in one house, with the use of ongoing radio broadcasts (conveniently, the couple has just moved into this house, which explains both the plentiful packing supplies and the lack of cable TV), Right at Your Door persuasively suggests a citywide nightmare even with a minuscule cast. (First-time writer/director Gorak cut his teeth as an art director on dystopian films such as Fight Club and Minority Report.)

The film does have its flaws: well before the bombs go off, Lexi comes across as an obnoxious person who doesn't appreciate her kindly if unemployed husband; Gorak also fails to show that this couple ever actually liked each other. On the one hand, I suppose it explains why Brad could lock his own wife outside their home: it suggests that there's already some distance between them. If they were a cooing pair of lovebirds, you'd expect him to sacrifice his own safety by letting her in. On the other hand, how rich the drama would have been – and how stinging the sense of betrayal – if this couple had appeared inseparable at the start of the story.

Right at Your Door still delivers some good suspense and a nice twist ending. But I think the film will have far more resonance for Angelenos because of its "it could happen here" vibe. Other audiences may think that these two LA drama queens get what they deserve.