Right At Your Door is a film that had to be made. With the current world climate there is a lot of fear within the world of security trust and stability, especially in America; Right At Your Door tackles these issues head on.
The plot not only tackles the possibility of another attack in America but also explores the possibility of biological warfare at the same time. It does so very effectively by using the theatre of the mind. Nothing is more terrifying than what you can imagine. The film does this very well by taking the approach of using the radio as a major plot device to propel the story forward rather than using the overdone news reporter on TV in the crisis zone reporting. Instead the radio is used in this manner extremely effectively in allowing the audience to create their own image and perception of the outside events.
The film treats the audience with respect by not spoon feeding every shallow detail as shown in a lot of Hollywood films as of late which is refreshing. The radio is a powerful tool in doing this. Also due to the nature of it, it gives a certain 1950’s cold war feel to it where people got news and fear from the media, predominantly the radio during cold war time.
The film follows an act structure and has no equilibrium restoration or conclusion as such. The film rather leaves the audience with a sense of thought provoking and impact. The three acts are a downward spiral of trust of those in control of your fate. You cannot help but be reminded of the handling of Katrina when watching this downward spiral progress. Help is on the way. They aren’t coming. They aren’t here to help us. That’s the three acts in single statements.
The dynamic of the main actors keep the film interesting and compelling to watch. Without that the film would have certainly failed and become boring by the half way mark. The inclusion of the neighbour early in the film is more of a sidestep and a distraction rather than anything else other than to help the main character right at the start of the film. His purpose I believe was to remind the audience of that this is happening to everyone not just the two main characters. This is effective in one shot only and the rest of his appearance is merely a distraction of what else is going on in the film. His exit is also confusing as it goes against his whole purpose of entering the film in the first place.
The way the film was shot was very impressive and organic in manner. Nearly all the film was shot hand-held and it worked very well in adding to the intimacy of the film. It also helped with the believability of the film too. The film could have gone in a Hollywood epic kind of manner when you know even consciously that this is fake due to the way it would be shot. Using hand-held cameras help make this film more believable and more believable and closer to home as it focuses on people in their homes rather than the chaos that is happening around them. Again, outside events are portrayed mostly by the radio which gives the film focus.
The audio and soundtrack of the film served a purpose of being in the background more than anything else; there was no real stand out set piece. The audio acted to help portray the events in the film with more substance. Again it was organic in manner in the sense that each different piece of soundtrack would slip from one piece to the next without a conscious noticeable difference that was detached from what was going on onscreen. Therefore it’s hard to comment on the audio with any great depth without multiple viewings. This in most ways is a compliment to this kind of film. Other examples that come to mind are The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.
Ultimately the film is successful in portraying its message and the plot in a manner that’s realistic and close enough to home that everyone can relate to. Because of this everyone can watch the film and understand what’s going on. Whether you like the film is down to taste. But it’s important that the audience aren’t alienated at all. The ending of the film does indeed have a twist and as all the reviews so far claim you don’t see it coming. I approached this statement with scepticism but due to the quality of the film and the performances of the actors you really don’t and it leaves a profound impact at the end. One thought about the end of the movie is that the impact of the movie would have been greatly increased if the film had a lead actor of the same acting ability but of higher profile. With a much higher profile star of the film then the ending would have an extremely higher impact and reinforce the message of the film much more and perhaps that this can happen to anyone. On the flipside, this could damage the film’s credibility in the sense that it portrays itself as being very realistic and close to home and to most casual moviegoers the faces in the film won’t be recognised and therefore add to the close to home effect of the film.
All in all it was a good film that was tastefully done and in a refreshing manner that I think a lot of people will appreciate and it would certainly make a change from a lot of the Hollywood style epics that are released these days. This is a “˜true film’ with a true message that is successfully executed and for that I would recommend to anyone this film and I am pre-ordering the DVD as soon as it becomes available.