Refreshing to see unpredictable movie (by constantgardner)
My husband and I watched this last night. Excellent movie. Well done and I imagine the costs of filming were not that great and this should smack some other movie makers as the thing to do. Scary. Suspenseful. Thought provoking. We really enjoyed it and it was not predictable. Be sure to watch past the credits. As usual, another independent film outweighs the crap put out in the mainstream. And, maybe there is also a lesson that good acting can be more important than expensive sets, props and special effects. And, amazingly, no shameless plugs for advertising. No hidden political agendas. <more>
There was no needless action or violence. There was no need for gratuitous and pointless sex scenes to keep audience interest.
An original,stylish and thrilling piece of work (by Sovereign_x2000)
Pontypool was an amazing film for a number of reasons.The story pays a respectful homage to horror greats like Night of the Living Dead and 28 Days later without ever becoming cliché. The approach to the mass "infection" was something that I never saw coming. The acting was excellent and I got the genuine impression I was listening to talk/news radio. The authenticity of the radio broadcast and culminating events were enough to actually draw me into the anxiety that the characters felt,which says a lot considering the 2-dimensional feel of the majority of movies I have seen as of <more>
late. I highly recommend this movie to any real sci-fi/horror fan that is fed up with the standard fair.Also, watch the final frames after the credits! Great job. 10/10
I thoroughly enjoyed this and was completely taken by surprise. My DVD box has a quote across the top, 'The Best Zombie Film Of The Year' and this is probably both correct and most misleading. As others have mentioned it is best to go into this not expecting rampaging and bloodthirsty zombies, but to allow the very unusual and original film work it's magic. Stephen McHattie is outstanding in the central role and most convincing as he and we! struggle too interpret information received. This is far removed from being a 'sit back and wallow' movie and I certainly found <more>
myself on the edge of my seat thrilled, perturbed and anxious to work out just what was going on. Highly recommended.
I saw this film at the Toronto film festival, and I must say it was superb. It's a zombie flick that isn't a zombie flick--it really breaks out of the genre. At times honestly hilarious and truly suspenseful at others, it was one of my top three films I saw at the festival. The IMDb synopsis doesn't do it justice. The main character loves to throw out references to linguistics and literary critics, and the "transmission" of the virus fits perfectly. Stephen McHattie did a fantastic job, as did Lisa Houle and Georgina Reilly. Even though the "we're stuck in a <more>
building surrounded by zombies" is a well-used setup, Pontypool is so different from most zombie movies that it doesn't feel hackneyed. Altogether, it's a totally fresh, exciting movie. If you can get your hands on it, watch it!
Refreshing Respite from Overdone Horror/Thriller Movies (by clairmonde)
I remember purchasing this book back in 2008 because it was a Canadian zombie story that takes place in a little nowhere Ontario town called Pontypool. The back of the book had me laughing and intrigued by the description.A virus. Flesh eating zombies. A body count in the millions has decimated Ontario's population. What if you woke up and began your morning by devoting the rest of your life to a murderous rampage, a never-ending cannibalistic spree? And what if you were only one of thousands who shared the same compulsion? This novel depicts just such an epidemic. It's the <more>
compelling, terrifying story of a devastating virus.I will not tell you how you catch it so as not to include spoilers, but once it has you, it leads you on a strange journeyinto another world where the undead chase you down the streets of the smallest towns and largest cities.If you are expecting a night of the living dead style film... this is not it. This movie does a fantastic job of drawing you into the world of the characters, their relationships and everything falling apart around them; you are not an outside observer. You are for all intensive purposes just another Pontypool citizen wondering "Wiskey-Tango-Foxtrot".This movie is a great treat for four reasons 1 The focus on the actors as the actors were perfectly cast. You may recognize an actress from the recent release of Dark Room 2 The choice to follow the "Aliens" model of never placing the source of "fear and unease" front stage. By not letting you in on the whole thing and only providing glimpses, your imagination will take the scenes further than any expensive CGI ever could. 3 The writing and angle of the movie. You feel like you are part of the movie as you only know what the main actors know... nothing more! 4 The intro and the voice of the main actor really pull you in like a warm sedative as you spiral downward into the insanity of your own imagination.Enjoy... we did!
Something strange but fun "happening" in Pontypool (by Jawsphobia)
Pontypool, pontypool, pontypool. . . Say the word - or any word that sticks with you - and you may understand it and the understanding will infect you with the virus that is going around in Pontypool Ontario. At the screening I attended the audience was right with it, listening, reacting, hanging in there with local radio station politics being set-up as a term of endearment - perhaps honey - may have triggered a psychological zombie state and the question is how to keep the scary people from breaking down the sound proof glass. The performances are the focus and bring the movie to life, <more>
disproving the usual Hollywood argument of show-don't-tell. If you are still capable of being intrigued by ideas then see Pontypool. I suspect M. Night Shymalan might have read the same book Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burges despite the name and interest in words, apparently not related to 'Nadsat' language creator Anthony Burgess; needs one more 's' . If you didn't like The Happening, there are no guarantees here. I liked it, but I do think this movie is more satisfying and certainly demonstrates the impact of the old Aristotelian unities of time, place and conflict. Very good movie, but I give you fair warning that it is also interesting.
Refreshingly Original Zombie Movie (by MisterSaxon)
The zombie horror genre is an over-saturated one; and it takes something truly original to remind you why you loved them in the first place. "Pontypool" is such a movie. If you think this is going to be a straightforward zombie flick, it's time to think again.The first half of the movie moves slowly but efficiently, as a radio host and the two women in his team begin to realise that something is most definitely wrong in their normally quiet little town. With the aid of some wonderful cinematography and an intelligent script, the audience is holed up inside the radio station as <more>
reports begin to filter through of mysterious events which are growing ever more threatening in nature.The second half of the story, when the cause of the danger becomes known and our protagonists are forced to protect themselves, will either impress you as it did me or completely lose you. If you're lucky enough to experience the former, you'll realise that this movie has far more going for it than your standard 'mindless zombies run around eating brains' movie. It's a cerebral horror movie, designed to make you think as you watch.The acting is solid throughout. Stephen McHattie who had small parts in "Watchmen" and "A History Of Violence" amongst others, and whose voice and appearance reminds me of Lance Henriksen is perfectly cast in the central role, and is backed by great performances by Lisa Houle and Georgina Reilly. As most of the early scenes of rising dread come from their characters listening to others calling the radio show, their reactions are essential to maintaining suspense and they do a fantastic job.If you're a fan of more intelligent horror fare such as the earlier work of David Cronenberg , you'd be advised to take a look here. It's a movie that defies expectations and provides a refreshing injection into a genre of movie that has become increasingly tired as of late.Highly recommended.
Gruesome, chillingly memorable and darkly funny semiotic zombie film (by pyrocitor)
As with many film genres, the psychological horror film becomes increasingly in danger of being driven into the proverbial ground under a staggering mountain of cliché and repetition, with frustratingly few alternatives to the same old spin on the same old story. However, with Pontypool, Canadian independent director Bruce McDonald manages to not only breathe fresh life into an increasingly withering genre, but concoct a sliver of something altogether unexpected and new in the process. Adapted from screenwriter Tony Burgess' own novel about a small Ontario town overrun by zombies <more>
infected by a virus spread through the English language, McDonald's impressively lo-fi sheen proves the perfect fit for a zombie horror film brave enough to engage in notions of semiotics dismantling the English language and forms of verbal communication and philosophical reflections on interpersonal communication and survival situation ethics, while somehow managing to remain darkly comedic in the process. Yet, inherent complexities and offbeat humour aside, Pontypool remains a gruesomely effective and taut piece of psychological horror, beautifully paced and peppered with chillingly detached bursts of visceral violence and gore, making it almost essential viewing for any horror film fans. Taking notes from abiding genre classics such as Alien, McDonald keeps the viewer daringly in the dark throughout the film, offering only tantalizing snippets of information from outside news broadcasts to contextualize the viral outbreak and horror unfolding outside the secluded setting. This focalization alongside the protagonists serves not only to draw the viewer in further in terms of alignment with the characters, but perpetuates a noxious, continual sense of claustrophobia, amplifying the creeping terror to almost unbearable levels. Far from balking at the challenge of keeping a single enclosed setting interesting, McDonald practically drinks in every last inch, managing to make the radio studio appear alternatingly oppressively tight and eerily vast - a masterful exploration of subjective relations to space. Similarly, Claude Foisy's eerie dirge of a spectral musical score perfectly compliments the film's crushingly atmospheric veneer.And yet McDonald refuses to let genre conventions stifle an impish sense of fun, as the film's grisly realism is counterbalanced by unexpected moments of irrelevant silliness a man dressed up as Osama Bin Laden appears on Mazzy's radio show with no explanation given , tastefully melding the zombie horror and black comedy genres to create a remarkably unprecedented result. And while the film may not be a flawless entry into the genre Burgess's script offers the occasionally wooden patches of dialogue, and the daringly ambiguous ending may not be for all tastes , such a unique spin on age old narrative tropes deserves recognition and plaudits from all capable of stomach the material, both in terms of jarring violence and troublesomely complex thematic and philosophical overtones. Being such a human drama centered piece, without the right cast, the low budget and static location of McDonald's film may have started to fragment, but thankfully the collection of primarily new actors prove more than up for the job. Perpetually underrated character actor Stephen McHattie shines in a rare lead role, giving a remarkably balanced performance as sardonic radio broadcaster Grant Mazzy. Showcasing both a deliciously dry comedic deadpan and potential for raw, dramatic charisma, McHattie deftly carries both the light and dark aspects of the film with ease. Lisa Houle gives an impressively measured performance as Mazzy's harried co-worker, managing to defy 'damsel in distress' stereotypes by being a fully capable and independent individual, yet with an appealing vulnerability equally driving home the credibility of her character. Georgina Reilly is a powerfully commanding presence in a far too brief role, similarly essaying a fully convincing human being forced to succumb to petrifying circumstances. And Hrant Alianak is a delightfully bizarre presence as a quirky doctor who may or may not possess crucial information regarding the viral outbreak. Easily worth seeing for its unconventional blending of the intellectually complex, chillingly horrifying and bleakly humorous, Pontypool achieves a cinematic gut punch, delivering a reaction unlike most contemporaries and certainly proving far more memorable. While certainly not an appropriate initiation for those unfamiliar with zombie horror, the film's unique hybridity and visceral emotional effect is sure to both sate and fascinate fans of the genre, making Pontypool near indispensable viewing. -8/10
Pontypool is one of the few horror movie that used a little creativity and proves you don't need a high budget to a make horror film. The story circles around a local radio station and its crew of three people. As the day moves on they slowly start to here reports of violence happening all over the region. This includes riots, people killing each other and intervention from the Canadian Government. Soon they find themselves hiding in the station from the horror out side they are reporting. If that was not bad enough, they can't figure what's going on. Pontypool takes a very <more>
different and more effective way at trying to scare its audience. Most western horror these days seem to mainly focus on jump scares or brutal kill scenes alone. Pontypool on the other hand gives a few vague descriptions on what's actually going on out there. For most of the movie you really are just listening to a broadcast and testimonies of eye witness. This leaves the viewer having his own imagination working against him for a big chunk of the film. For me this was the most strongest for the first half of the film when we don't know what's causing the hysteria. I actually only have one real complaint which I felt the ending could have been better. I didn't hate the ending it just feels kind of weak compared to what we see earlier. I would go into more detail but that would results in some spoilers.Overall it's a fun creepy horror movie that could be enjoyable for Halloween. I give it a few extra points for what they were able to pull off on a low budget and for an interesting experiment in horror.Thats why I give this radio broadcast from hell an 8 out of 10.