PONTYPOOL (2008) – The Dungeon Review!

pontypoolI love Bruce McDonald! He is one of my favorite Canadian directors and this is his first horror entry. I’ve been a big fan of his work from way back. His films are funny and quirky and his characters and stories are always imaginitive. My favorite is HIGHWAY 61, a story about a small town barber and a roadie, who barely know each other, driving across the country together to deliver a coffin. Also, I have a total crush on Don McKellar who plays Pokey in the film! A fantastic film worth seeking out, but keep in mind that this is NOT a horror! Also well worth checking out are his films ‘ROADKILL’ and ‘HARDCORE LOGO’. Pontypool is as quirky and imaginative as any of his films but there is some serious tension served up with this one.

A radio station in the Ontario town of Pontypool receives a string of phone calls reporting strange and violent incidents. They eventually get confirmation of the situation from their terrified reporter. The small stations three employees keep relaying news as it comes in but What exactly is happening in Pontypool? What caused it, and how can it be stopped?
still from pontypool

McDonald has created a perfect balance of humour, terror and thought provoking commentary with Pontypool. He has drawn a fascinating character with Grant Mazzy, and Stephen McHattie is excellent in the role. Lisa Houle and Georgina Reilly both do a stand up job, but McHattie is the real show stealer. It’s not without its brief moments of bloodshed, but you rarely see the violence. The gore just wasn’t neccessary for this film. The atmosphere is intense and the momentum builds with each new piece of information they learn. The entire film takes place in the radio station and its 3 employees have not actually witnessed the events happening outside their door. All of the information they receive is from the strange phone calls and their terrified reporter. Not actually seeing the events unfold is a huge part of what makes the film work so well. The explanation for the ‘virus(?)’ is one of the most unique I’ve come upon. Pontypool is an intense, quirky and unconventional film that will appeal to more than just horror fans. You can win your very own copy of ‘Pontypool’! Stop by The Film Reel (click their link in my blogroll) and enter the contest!

Dungeon Rating: 4.5/5

Directed By: Bruce McDonald

Starring: Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly, Hrant Alianak, Rick Roberts, Boyd Banks,Tony Burgess, Rachel Burns, Daniel Fathers and Hannah Fleming

4 Responses to “PONTYPOOL (2008) – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. hagiblog Says:

    I can’t imagine anyone not liking this movie. And if they did than I would hope they would at least recognize it’s uber creativity and hopefully it will have an impact on the way some future films are made. I even found the credits interesting and I never care about the credits! HAHA!

    We’re lucky to be able to get copies already, our friends south of the border will just have to wait it out, or enter my contest like you said! HAHA!

  2. Bartleby Says:

    Its funny, Im writing this one up for the weekly creepy and I gave it the same rating. I was blown away by it. It might be hyperbole, but honestly, I think this is the best “zombie’ film since Night of the Living Dead’. Its the first one since then to really bring something significantly new to the table in terms of ideas.

    And McHattie? He’s magic in this.

    • goregirl Says:

      It really was amazing, and I hope to see plenty more reviews of Pontypool. There is nothing that warms my heart more than seeing a kick ass little film like this get the exposure it deserves.

  3. 24hourstomidnight Says:

    The twist seriously wtf’d me. Otherwise, hooray for Canadian content!

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