It’s nice to see a movie that doesn’t directly correlate the idea of ingenuity with high budgets, cutting edge special effects, and international stars of the silver screen. It’s even nicer to see a movie improve and innovate a genre that really does not have a lot of room left for new idea. Pontypool is a low-budget, Canadian horror film that puts a new spin on zombies and scare tactics.
There are no scenes of dismemberment or undead creatures feeding on warm human bodies. Pontypool does not rely on brutal death or quick scares. Pontypool mostly takes place in a small radio station, occupied by its three crew members. While inside the radio station, reports of death and destruction start to flood the radio waves. First, the crew members start to receive reports of random acts of violence. Before you know it, they pick up frequencies that talk about full-scale riots and the intervention of the Canadian government. You see, what really works for this movie is the fact that there is so much mystery. As an audience, our only access to what is going on in the world is no better than the radio station crew. During the first half of the movie, the crew hears various eyewitness testimonies about what is going on outside of the radio station. People are going crazy. People are losing it. People are dying. This is at least what our imagination leads us to believe.
As it turns out, Pontypool is a zombie-esque movie. However, people are not getting bitten or savagely torn apart. No, this sort of virus is spread my language. Yes, language. I won’t go any further into it than that because I don’t want to give anything away.
I’m not really sure how I felt about the ending. It did feel fitting for the general tone and vibe of the rest of the movie. Still, part of me thinks that they simply ran out of ideas. Either way, it was a pretty cool idea. Not the greatest movie, but a cool idea.