Pontypool (2009) Review


Pontypool (2009)

Caption: "Shut up or die!"

Promotional movie poster

Director Bruce McDonald takes an innovative step for the horror genre, instead of giving an omnipresent view of a situation; we are at odds when all we can find out is through characters working within a radio station. Although slightly slow to suspense, events escalate as the film progresses and we are eventually involved. In the small town of Pontypool, Ontario, Canada, something big is happening. Grant Mazzy, a shock jock turned radio announcer, is our protagonist who has a brief but eerie encounter with a woman out in the cold (and snow, by the way), who repeats the word “blood” repeatedly for unknown reasons at this point. He tries to communicate with her, only to have his words repeated by her as she walks into the snowy darkness. At his station, the mornings went well (albeit some disagreements on Grant’s method of attracting his listeners with his method of “pissing people off” with his station manager, Sydney Briar) until a report of a riot near a Dr. Mendez’s office occurs. The reports and phone calls become more disturbing as hours pass. Soon enough, it becomes evident that an epidemic has had an outbreak, but the radio station has nothing on this event, making them question the authenticity and regard it as possible hoaxes. They come to a realization that the army has closed off the town and quarantined the residence. Their weatherman who reports from a chopper, Ken Loney, is in a struggle with the riot and reveals to them a horrifying message in French that breaks into their signal briefly to deliver this:

“For your safety, please avoid contact with close family members and restrain from the following: All terms of endearment and rhetorical discourse.

For greater safety, please avoid the English language.

Please do not translate this message.”

Well, I’m actually not suppose to go into details about the film and spoil it for you now, do I?

For me, this movie was a treat to watch. It’s a great film to anyone who prefers increasingly-disturbing plot build-ups over good old ass-kicking in a film. Apparently based off a novel named “Pontypool Changes Everything”, borrowing most of the plot from the book. There are themes relating to the epidemic, which I’m having a hard time deciphering but nonetheless you’d enjoy the film. Give it a watch!

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2 Responses to “Pontypool (2009) Review”

  1. You really pick some obscure films to review. Where do you learn about these films?

    • Reference books and just killing time on Wikipedia, pressing on almost every hyperlink I come across. Other than that, by recommendation or by word-of-mouth from friends.

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