Right at Your Door (2006)

Writer/director Chris Gorak introduces his viewers to the stark world of a society in which decision-making is relegated purely to agenda, even in the throes of disaster. This is not a tale of fiction for it is related to a history of events already wrought upon our society by those empowered to make life and death decisions, no matter how capriciously. Information is dispensed selectively, without regard to accountability and based on “facts not in evidence”. Following instruction is by no means meant remedial to victims, but to “contain” them as object problems, problems to be dispensed with on terms unaccountable to explanation. Yes, Mr. Gorak has stepped out into a world of pseudo-science and police state mentality to expose just how arbitrary and inhuman the outcomes of practicing such policies as those that can be implemented under secret executive order, The Patriot Act, and Wartimes Emergency Acts can be. And he has the courage and skill to bring his viewer headlong into it.

Of course, we have had panic made over radon gas, black mold and various strains of disease suspiciously brought back into play after having been lain to rest by sound medical practice. Whole industries have come and gone to take advantage of them. In the end to find out, usually, little or no substance could be attached to the hype or its concerns.

In the case of Right at Your Door, the very nature of any device representing a chemical and biological cocktail in the form of a “dirty bomb” is not and would not be analyzed in time to save the contaminated unless disclosed by the monsters responsible. This becomes less and less true as you distance from ground zero but it is still an essential factor in recovery. Acknowledging this, what unfolds in the storyline of the movie can be sorted out; otherwise it cannot. The claims and practices of those in authority cannot be explicable either in terms of medicine or science on their face. Rather than being defects in the creation of this film, this reviewer rather thinks Gorak built his storyline around these understandings, perhaps to expose the excesses we have allowed those in authority to take.

This is not an easy movie to watch; its impact is unceasing. No alert human mind can be uneffected by it or not enter into profound empathy with its characters. The three main roles are performed with great service. The husband, Brad (Rory Cochrane) and the wife, Lexi (Mary McCormack) are exceedingly well cast and give excellent performances. The supporting role of Alvaro is, as well, gifted by the performance of Tony Perez. The chemistry between this husband and wife comes to have very interesting consequences as the story develops. Essential to the film’s credibility, Alvaro becomes as organic to this development as the others and his character delineation toward the end elegantly structured. Gorak displays writing skills as well as directing. His superb interpretation of human relations exercised under extreme stress is evident throughout.

Too intense for young children, even some childish adults. Some harsh language (though appropriate) and no nudity.

A movie of singular importance and multiple significance. Chillingly so.

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