“Shut up or die” – brilliant tag line which is something I have frequently wanted to shout at unruly school children (I have thus far restrained myself…)
Another incredibly well manufactured indie movie, Pontypool does justice to the locked-in genre of horror and succeeds in building tension beautifully, simply through the reality of the situation, without having to lean on massive amounts of special effects, eerie music or character build-up.
In Pontypool the audience only ever finds out information as the main characters do – for most of the film you are left somewhat in the dark as to what is happening outside, as are the characters, and we are left to piece together the information coming in at the same rate of those receiving it.
The film focuses on a local radio station based in Pontypool, a small town in Ontario, Canada. The film starts slowly with Grant Mazzy – our local radio host – shock-jockeying for ratings, ranting and trolling the station manager who looks on in distaste. The station then starts getting reports in of riots and strange happenings and gain first hand audio-footage of the madness from one of their reporters. They are left trying to piece together the problem – what is happening? How are the people getting infected? What should they do? They piece together enough to learn the warning signs of infection and that there appears to be verbal triggers and are forced to batten down the hatches as hordes of maniac infected are drawn to the sounds of the radio station, while trying not to get accidentally infected themselves. Nice!
The film is very realistically made; the characters are believable and not at all Hollywoodized. The plot is tight and well thought out and is a nice, refreshing take on the overly done stuck-in-building-surrounded-by-a-zombie-apocalypse plot. Our characters are not overly likeable, but you root for them anyway and the horror that you see is pretty gruesomely awesome. Tension and stress is built well and all my friends who have seen this have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of this film. Give it a watch if you like well made indie horror. Liz x