JULY 19, 2007
Four in a row! Woooo!!
Unfortunately Right At Your Door isn’t REALLY a horror movie, at least not in the traditional sense (despite the press notes doing their best to make us think otherwise, stating the film was rated R for strong gory violence throughout, language, nudity, and drug use – only ONE of those things was true and you can probably guess which one). However, if actually scaring the audience was the only requisite for a horror film, this movie would be the most qualifying of all the 160 or so Horror Movie A Day entries thus far.
The plot is simple: dirty bombs are set off around LA, and carry with them an airborne chemical of unknown origin. All we know: it’s bad. Rory Cochrane and Mary McCormack (!!) are a married couple named Brad and Lexi who just moved to the area. As the bombs go off, she is outside, he is inside. Taking the advice of the radio and a random handyman who essentially breaks into his home, they seal all windows and doors to keep the gas from getting in, assuming that Lexi is safe somewhere.
Well, if she was, the movie would be pretty boring. Instead, she shows up, coughing and covered in the chemical dust. Brad doesn’t let her in. The rest of the film is about the rising paranoia, the very real possibility that she may die waiting for help, etc. It could almost be a play.
It’s a great film, and terrifying as hell. The film proposes that since the bombs were set off in LA proper (LAX, Beverly Hills, and downtown), the Valley would be safe due to the mountains surrounding it, and thus everyone flees to the area to stay safe. And as a Valley resident, trust me, there is nothing more terrifying than the prospect of swarms of hipster and art douchebags from Echo Park invading my street. The bombs and terrorists would be the least of my concerns.
It’s also shot on the increasingly rare format of 16mm. When blown up to 35, this particular film stock looks amazing, and I wish more directors would take advantage of it. A film like 28 Days Later (poorly shot with digital video) would have benefited immensely from the look it provides. This is, of course, meaningless to folks who don't give a shit (or even notice) how a film was filmed, but that's the kind of gal I am.
The film also contains what may be my favorite line of dialog in a movie since “Her Adam’s Apple was as big as her balls.” (40 Year Old Virgin). Cochrane and McCormack are sitting on the floor, separated by a giant sheet of plastic that is secured with an entire roll of duct tape. And suddenly, McCormack goes “I thought you said duct tape was stupid.” I would actually self-finance a prequel that details the situation in which someone would actually express specific disdain for duct tape. What the fuck could possibly happen to a guy to make him hate the world’s leading source of industrial strength adhesive? Amazing.
The film comes out in August, probably in limited release, so if you can, I urge you to check it out. Tell em I sent you. It won’t matter at all, but maybe they’ll get confused and you can sneak in some outside food.
What say you?