Brad (Rory Cochrane, A SCANNER DARKLY) and Lexi (Mary McCormack, 1408) have recently moved to Los Angeles. They've been together for six years and appear to be very much in love.

One morning Lexi sleeps in while Brad potters around the house with the radio on, where he learns of the traffic congestion in central LA. He tries to persuade Lexi to stay off work and lounge with him instead, but she gets herself ready and rushes out of the door - agreeing to stick to the side streets to avoid the bulk of the traffic.

Later that morning, Brad's radio continues to report on the situation in LA's centre. He's alarmed to hear of an explosion, and becomes even more frantic when the broadcaster announces there's been another ... and another ...

Against the advice given by the radio broadcaster, Brad races to his car and makes for central LA, constantly trying - with no success - to reach Lexi on her mobile.

When Brad witnesses police brutality as masked officers struggle to turn people away from the smoke-filled streets (now closed off, as the authorities have confirmed the explosions are "dirty bombs" - terrorist devices releasing poisonous gases), he turns back and goes home per the radio's advice.

With the help of next door's handyman Alvaro (Tony Perez, WAYS OF THE FLESH), Brad seals his house against any gases lurking outside. In the meantime, the pair watch from the house as the streets become cloudier and quarantine takes it's full effect. Brad's fraught, out of his mind with worry for the safety of his missing wife.

But when she turns up on the front porch, vomiting and asking to be let in, Brad has to make a difficult choice - can Lexi enter the house, or will she infect him and Alvaro?

RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR takes the welcome approach of offering minimal background, opting instead to get straight down to the action within its opening five minutes. As soon as Brad hears the first radio announcement, director Chris Gorak mounts on the tension with lots of dizzying hand-held camera, copious shouted swearing and plenty of frustrated tears from the impressive Cochrane.

The film is shot on Super-16mm and it looks gritty as a result. This works in its favour, drawing the viewer in to the chaos and confusion mounting around Brad. Colour schemes are dour and dusty, further adding to the doom-laden atmosphere.

But the premise - while a timely one - is thin, and by about 30 minutes into the film Gorak has run out of ideas to keep the tension running. Until the delicious climax that is, but by that time it feels almost like a relief that this extended teleplay is over.

Performances are excellent, as are the limited digital effects (the clouds of smoke developing from central LA are particularly eerie). Gorak's pacing is adequate, though as I've mentioned above the fundamental flaw is that the plot is so sparse.

Also, the big clincher for this film is that it wants to spark a debate along the lines of "What would you do in Brad's shoes?". The man is so in love with his wife at the beginning, and so frantic when he can't establish her safety, that his reaction when she turns up at his door (no relief, just suspicion) is not remotely realistic. Is society really so cold today that one would even have to think about whether or not to let your partner in?!

The disc offers the movie uncut in it's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. As you'd expect, it's been 16x9 enhanced. The images are generally sharp with good colour balance. There is grain evident, but that's due to the director's chosen method of film - and suits the cause of his plight.

Audio-wise, there's a solid 5.1 mix to enjoy. Removable English subtitles are available in both basic and hard-of-hearing formats.

Static menu pages include a scene-selection menu allowing access to the main feature via 16 chapters.

Extras start off with an excellent, informative commentary track that finds Gorak in conversation with David Hughes of Empire magazine. Hughes asks all the right questions, and ensures the affable Gorak keeps it fluent.

Next up is a 25-minute interview with Gorak, addressing the camera to offer us his thoughts on the inspiration behind the film, the actors and so on. He's more serious here than he is on the commentary.

Then we get a 14-minute featurette purporting to be Gorak offering Film School tips. Essentially, it's an extension of the previous interview - shot in the same location. The only difference here is that Gorak discusses his admittedly interesting background as art director, assistant director etc, and reveals some of the stuff he's learnt from working with big names in the past.

Finally we get 2 alternative endings, in script form. Both are interesting reads, though obviously I'd recommend watching the film before going anywhere near these ...

Not exactly extras, but perhaps worth a mention, is that when the disc loads up you automatically get delivered to a few trailers for other titles: THE WICKER MAN (remake), SAW 3, EDISON and 11:14.

At times reminiscent of early Cronenberg (well, RABID certainly springs to mind), RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR is an interesting if flawed exercise in post 9/11 terror. It starts well and ends on a high note, unfortunately there's too little going on in the middle.

Review by Stu Willis

Released by Lions Gate
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 15
Extras :
see main review