Movie Reviews 63 – Pontypool (2008)

I’m not sure what to make of Pontypool. It could have been a pretty decent movie if and only if you could get over the preposterous notion that it presents as the reason a small town populace goes batshit one night.

I started thinking that this was going to be yet another zombie infestation movie when late night DJ Grant Mazzy makes his way to the local radio station and encounters a zombie-like woman for a few fleeting seconds. But once there he, the bitchy station manager Sydney Briar and a controller start getting some weird reports of people acting crazy at a local doctor’s office. But they can’t really get any confirmation and strange things continue to happen with more reports coming in. Soon after, the sieged doctor himself comes to the station seeking refuge and within a matter of a few minutes he comes to an astonishing conclusion as to what is behind the propagation of this ‘virus’. There is scant proof and giant leaps of faith of the imagination to come to this unconfirmed presumption. This is where the movie lost me.

All that preposterous stuff aside, actors Stephen McHattie and Lisa Houle (Mazzy and Briar) do an admirable job of trying their best to make it all believable. The movie also slides into a decent touchy-feely relationship introspection between the two main characters that works despite the radical departure of the story at hand. Another thing that does work is the dark and austere mood of a secluded and isolated radio station during a late night snowfall.

Unfortunately I did not buy into the premise because of the giant leaps made and so I had to try to enjoy the movie despite what I consider some serious flaws. Too bad really because with a little tighter scripting and a few changes this could have been a great movie. I think if they even left the reasoning behind the infestation totally ambiguous and unresolved, it would have made for a better movie.


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