Tuesday, 27 August 2013


"Pontypool" (2009, Bruce McDonald, Maple Pictures) is a psychological thriller but it has a few splashes of gore too. It's also quite low budget, but I wouldn't have guessed!

It's Valentine's Day and ex- 'shock jock' radio DJ turned local radio host, Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie), is on his way to the station in the small town of Pontypool, Canada for his shift during the wee hours when he has an encounter with a strange murmuring woman. But that's not the strangest to happen to him that morning, when reports begin to roll in of strange and violent happenings in the town...

A clever film which feels bigger than it is thanks to clever camera work, good sound, nice effects, wit and humour and excellent acting.

Our charismatically grumpy protagonist keeps the plot going forward and I enjoyed his relationship with the station manageress Sydney (Lisa Houle) and technical assistant Laurel-Ann (Georgina Reilly).

The film is surprisingly engaging considering that there is very little to see (they barely leave the station) and a good sense of dread and claustrophobia builds up as the audience learns of the circumstances along with the characters.

The actual situation seems outlandish and not unlike something from Doctor Who, but who could possibly complain about that?!

Whilst it's not the most realistic thing to ever have a film made about it, it's certainly worthy of a few chills and manages to keep itself clear of the 'just another zombie movie' tag a film like this could so easily have been placed under.

An unsettling film which had me enthralled from the beginning, I found it innovative and intelligently pieced together. I'm not sure about the bit after the credits though...

[Image: Maple Pictures]