Movie Title: Pontypool
Date Release: September 6th, 2008 (Toronto International Film Festival)
Date Seen: July 1st, 2012
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
I LOVED this movie. L.O.V.E.D. it. I started watching it thinking that was just kind of like a slightly-out-of-the-ordinary zombie flick. I say out of the ordinary, because (not spoiling anything) the movie takes place in a radio station. We discover the crazyness that is going on outside as the radio station people do as well, and then the movie evolves into something completely different than just a plain people turn into flesh eating monsters as result of some mutated strain of chicken pox type movie. It’s pretty cool. I will admit, towards the end there does end up being some a couple of moments I found cheesy, but since it was a life/death situation, I’ll let them slide. They were over pretty quick. I’d definitely recommend this movie – especially for the surprising twist on the zombie movie.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
So why did I love this movie? Well, the radio station setting is so important for multiple reasons. Why? For one, we just start out by getting to know the radio DJ, manager, and engineer/helper girl. Then, we start to get calls and information coming in from outside the station about something crazy going on outside. We never know ANY more than the radio people know. We are craving for more information just like the radio people are. We have to imagine the scenes going on outside, just like the radio people do. I think this allows for each audience member to have their own experience. If you want to envision the people as crazy psycho zombies, or slow dead zombies, or just crazy people with blank stares, at this point, you have the freedom to do that. You can scare yourself as much as you want to be scared. I LOVE that idea.
Later we see what is happening to the people – they slowly become crazy, first just staring and repeating words for a bit, then back to normal. Then they “subconsciously” start to hunt you by following your voice. Then they just straight up try to get to where the voice is coming from, to turn them into a “victim”. It never really explained what the purpose of finding a victim person was, but I don’t really care. They didn’t really eat them, that it showed or mentioned, just that they would rip you to part. One woman does get lunged at and it looks like the girl was starting to scratch the woman…. but they kill her before we can really find out what would have been done to her. So again, you get to imagine what would have happened.
So that whole setting just makes it fabulous. But what takes this movie even more out of the ordinary is the “virus” isn’t what you’re thinking of. The way this virus is spread is through words. Understanding a word causes you to go this crazy. For the most part, I was totally ok with this. If you really think in depth about it, I don’t think it makes much sense how a virus would come about like that and how it would cause other people to go nuts without some type of chemical problem going on as well… but whatever, it was still a nice different look on the “infection” or “sickness” going around. It’s presented in a decently thought out manner, but executed fabulously.
In the end, do we know if they lived or died? Again, it leaves it up to the audience to (sort of) have a choice. I think it’s pretty clear they died at the end, but it does leave a little bit of wiggle room. If you want to believe they lived, you’re certainly allowed to.
Great film. Different than what I expected, sucked me in in the first half, and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire second half.