Halloween Scene: Right At Your Door (2007)

If you’re like me, you’ve got a big pile of DVDs you’ve been meaning to watch that either gets bigger or gathers dust while you burn through Netflix rentals and instant. Thanks to working at a pop culture magazine like ToyFare and having friends who also have access to DVDs they watch and don’t really need to keep, I’d be well stocked during a blizzard that knocked out just my internet somehow (I hope that day never comes). Anyway, yesterday I decided to cut down on that pile by watching a few. First up was Triloquist which boasted that it was written and directed by the guy who did the first Leprechaun. I got about 20 minutes in and had to quit. The movie is just way too over the top. It’s about two teenagers who have a living, murderous dummy. The boy doesn’t speak and is also apparently mentally retarded, or at least that’s how the kid plays him. I was kind of offended and that almost never happens. Then the girl is a fast talking bitch on wheels who’s trying to shock with every single thing she says. I’m the dude that loves Toxic Avenger and Killer Klowns From Outer Space, but this thing was just too much for me. Plus, the girl calls her brother a triloquist. Ugh.

I thought about going back to the Winter Olympics, which have been more absorbing than I expected, but then I saw Right At Your Door at the bottom of the pile and realized I had no idea what it was. It’s like a piece of luggage you leave out and after a while you just don’t even remember it exists, like it becomes part of the floor or furniture. Well, I looked at it and once I got past the weird cover, which reminded me of a movie whose name I can’t remember with a similar cover and had a town literally walled off by aliens who send zombies after the people. Or something. Anyway, the presence of Rory Cochrane, star of TWO of my favorite movies from high school Empire Records and Dazed and Confused demanded I watch it immediately. And man, this is a good movie. I hestitated to put it under the Halloween Scene category because I wasn’t sure if it should be labeled as horror because it’s all based on real-type events and there’s definitely some psychological horror going on.This one’s a bit long, so hit the jump for the full review on a hidden gem movie I recommend for everyone.

The movie takes place in California during a 9-11-like terrorist attack where someone sets off a series of dirty bombs in downtown LA. Like Cloverfield, the action says incredibly zoomed in to roughly six characters. Cochran plays a married guy who’s hanging out at his house when the craziness hits. His wife’s downtown and he doesn’t know what he should do. After a failed attempt to go find her, he returns to their house where the next door neighbor’s handy man joins him and helps him tape up and seal the house as best they could. Eventually his wife does come back, but Cochran’s afraid to let her in because he doesn’t want her to contaminate him. He is able to seal off parts of the house to let her in so she’s not out in the cold, but they’re still separated.

There’s a few other characters who pop in and out either in person or over the phone, but it really is the story of how Cochran and his wife respond to these crazy events. I love how zoomed in the movie is thanks to writer/director Chris Gorak’s vision. I liked Cloverfield, but I understand how people have a problem with some of the main characters’ motivations and what not. I had zero problem with Cochrane keeping his wife out and also no problem with his wife’s angry reaction. It really is heartbreaking and both actors really nail it (for the record his wife is played by Mary McCormack). There’s also a great sense of confusion and not knowing what the hell is going on. I wasn’t in New York when 9-11 happened, I hadn’t even been out here before, but the best explanation of how scary it all was, aside from a few documentaries I saw, came from David Cross in one of his routines. I was reminded of that while watching this movie, because Cochran and McCormack were really just going by what was on the news even while their family members in different towns were telling them other things.

And, without getting into it, the movie has a bit of a twist ending. Let’s call everything else in this paragraph SPOILER territory even though I won’t be saying what the twist is (because I really want you to go see this movie). This isn’t a twist in the Usual Suspects or Sixth Sense sense of the word. It’s not like the last 2 minutes make you watch the movie again in a different light. Okay, well, that’s not entirely true, but it’s not like it was a dream or all a hoax or everyone’s dead. The ending actually reminded me of something out of a Tales From The Crypt comic or episode (I’m way more familiar with the show than the comics). Whatever you want to compare it to, the ending punched me in the gut in a good way.

So, yes, I think you should do your best to seek out this movie and give it a watch. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Anyone else seen this one?

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