Customer Review

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tell the world that this is a great movie, 20 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Pontypool [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
If you like horror that is low on budget but high on ideas, good storytelling and tension, this sleeper movie is worth watching. The story is the familiar one of the isolated group finding themselves as seemingly the last best hope for Mankind's survival when crazed zombies attack.

This time the setting is a local Canadian radio station. A former shock jock, now slumming it, is the hero. Grant is a great character being eager to return to the big time, while still having a nice sardonic world-weary attitude. The day starts as any another with the usual nonsense that fills up local radio, but then reports start coming in that mysterious things are happening... Most of the film takes place in the one small set of the radio station and the story could quite readily work as a radio play, being entirely based on hearing reports coming in. They are often disjointed and so they leave the viewer in the dark as much as the radio presenter, but gradually they build to create a terrifying vision of escalating madness.

It was said that the inspiration was Orson Welles' 1930s War of the Worlds production and as such this is a great homage. The tension constantly mounts and any initial thoughts that listening to horrible things happen is not what horror films should be about and that it'll rapidly become tedious are dispelled. Gruesome special effects gore has its place in horror, but so does pure psychological terror as well as letting the viewer imagine what's happening.

Eventually the film does open up as the full nature of the zombie attack becomes known and herein lies the film's one problem. Although the reason for the attack is an original and clever one, some might find it hard to swallow. I won't say what it is (although the makers don't appear to be hiding it so it might not qualify as a twist as such), but I liked it because it ties in perfectly with the first half of the film and means this story had to be set in a radio station. The story wouldn't have worked otherwise and as such it represents clever scripting and foreshadowing.

Having provided the revelation the film then runs with the idea. Sadly this means that in the last act the film becomes more traditional with its horror while also perhaps going too far with its message, which hovers between being profound and being confusing. This move away from nail-biting claustrophobic tension towards a less controlled and slightly garbled madness stops this from being one of the greatest zombie flicks ever made, but for the first two acts alone this film deserves to be seen by horror fans.
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Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Feb 2010 13:21:06 GMT
C. J. P says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2010 08:11:33 GMT
Blackhorse47 says:
How is offering my opinion that I liked this movie genuinely misleading? If I had said the film is an Italian animated 3D musical-chick flick about a one-legged donkey falling in love with an Egyptian mummy, that would be misleading. If I had said you have to stand on your head and watch the film backwards to get the full benefit of the hidden messages in the story, that would be misleading. If I had said the film has guest appearances by Marilyn Monroe and Shaun the Sheep, that would be misleading. If I had said the film won 32 Oscars, grossed 17 and a half million yen on its opening afternoon in Swaziland, was filmed using the Dogme 95 principles and the entire cast are amateur penguins who turned up at a zoo audition, that would be misleading...

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2010 15:09:46 GMT
C. J. P says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 10 Jul 2010 22:10:30 BDT
I find C.J.P.'s badly educated (i.e. thick) punctuation failure to be infinitely more amusing than Blackhorse47's perfectly adequate review.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Aug 2010 10:50:40 BDT
C. J. P says:
I see why you would call yourself pretentious (i.e. head stuck up your .....)

Posted on 9 May 2011 13:05:52 BDT
Thanks for your review, I just watched the film and have to say that this is spot on! I hand't got the War of the Worlds reference initially, but now I think about it I agree completely! If only this had been made into an audio play (from the perspective of the listener), it would have been perfect! Great review, thanks again.
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Location: Moray, Scotland

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