The Ninjabot

Week End Horror: Pontypool (2008)

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 9:00 am by David "Snackbar" Edmundson

First things first, an introduction:

Horror. This genre is filled with endless possibilities and also an endless amount of crap. As a devoted horror fan knows we will sit through the worst of the worst just to find that hidden gem in the rubble.

I’m here to make your viewing a little less taxing. Welcome to Week End Horror where every Friday I will discuss one of my personal “essential” horror films. I will offer my opinion on widely regarded and critically annihilated films of the genre.

But what about everything else? Well, my fellow deadites and gore hounds I’ll throw in some really bad apples and offer my opinions of sequels, franchises, icons and gimmicks along with a list here and there.

As one master himself says, “Reader beware, you’re in for a scare!”.


Pontypool Poster

Today on Week End Horror we will be diving into a little known zombie flick called, Pontypool. Now I know you are all probably getting tired of the zombie craze but hear me out! This film takes the idea of a “zombie” in a completely different direction, but we will get there.

The film itself was given a very limited release and made an extremely small amount of money. However, the people that did get to see this film, myself included, were absolutely floored at the chilling story that unfolded before them.

Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) is a rough around the edges radio personality that has been reassigned to a local news channel in the town of Pontypool located in Canada. During his regular broadcast the small radio team begins to get snippets of a story emerging from the town of people rioting. As the story progresses the team receives garbled messages that warn them against speaking.


This film uses proximity to really get under the viewer’s skin. The entire film, aside from the opening scene, is filmed entirely in the basement radio station. We get constant close ups, uncomfortably close audio and the feeling of being trapped right along with the characters. The most frightening aspect of this film for me is the use of sound. We get disturbed sounds that are just barely audible to where you want to turn your volume full blast but at the same time you want to cover your ears and make it stop.

For gore hounds this will be a bit of a disappointment, this is definitely a case of less is more. So what about those zombies I mentioned? The zombies are more of the “infected” type than the “rise up from the grave to snack on your brain type”. You see, the infection is caused by words but is almost impossible to figure out which ones. Confused? Oh, you will be. But don’t let that deter you! This film is unflinching in its psychology. The viewer gets thrown in somewhat in the middle of what is happening and because it is set in the radio station the viewer gets little insight from the outside world.


According to the commentary the writers had already planned on two more movies before they even had a script for the first one. Word on the street is that the second will be far more perverse and unrestrained so that should make you gore hounds happy. For the time being I recommend curling up on the couch with your surround sound cranked and enjoying the subtleness of Pontypool. As the tag says, shut up or die.

You can follow Jess on Twitter @DangerJess_.

Pontypool is available for streaming @ both Netflix Instant Watch and Amazon Prime.


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