Sinister Screens

Pontypool (2008) ★★½



When disc jockey Grant Mazzy reports to his basement radio station in the Canadian town of Pontypool, he thinks it’s just another day at work. But when he hears reports of a virus that turns people into zombies, Mazzy barricades himself in the radio booth and tries to figure out a way to warn his listeners about the virus and its unlikely mode of transmission.


If the content in Pontypool was presented as an audio podcast or old-time radio special, it would receive five stars from me. But the fact that the medium is a motion picture, it falls short. Taking place almost entirely inside a radio studio, the movie is really monotonous when it comes to visuals, actions and overall execution. However, the real chills are sitting back on the couch and just listening to the details from Grant Mazzy as he relays the uprising. He has that brilliant radio voice, engaging and rich, and those audio transmissions are the real horror that takes place in this film.

If Pontypool was reshot with a bigger budget and focused on the events outside the studio walls using the radio transmissions as the backdrop, possibly coming from someone or a group that is listening on the radio while navigating the nightmare, this movie would be a classic.

Pontypool is definitely worth a watch; it’s not your typical zombie flick. But overall there’s just too many things that go against it as a movie: the ending was disjointed and weak, weird plot shifts (such as Dr. Mendez breaking his way into the studio) and oftentimes confusing dialogue between Mazzy on air and between Sydney Briar (the producer).

Again, worth the watch, and most other reviewers rated this way higher, so check it out and draw your own conclusion.

Rating: ★★½ (out of 5)

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