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pontypool

Director: Bruce Mcdonald

Writer: Tony Burgess
Cast:
  Stephen McHattie ... Grant Mazzy
Lisa Houle ... Sydney Briar
  Georgina Reilly ... Laurel-Ann Drummond
Hrant Alianak ... Dr. Mendez

Saw this movie as part of Day of the Dead 2009 and knew nothing about it. Was a little suspicious that it was going to actually be set in Wales.

Fortunately I needn't have worried!

The movie is set mostly in a radio station in Pontypool - Ontario, where Grant Mazzy (great performance by McHattie) has recently arrived, clearly from better things.

The basic premise of the movie is that something seems to be effecting the people of Pontypool and surroundings but no one is sure quite what.

The movie has echoes of Romeros Crazies BUT it plays out almost exclusively in the confines of the radio station and everything that is going on is a series of news snippets, reports from their 'eye in the sky' etc.

SPOILER - There is also a clever conceit for how the 'virus' is been spread. It is via language and words. This is satisfyingly reminiscent of a great Twighlight Zone episode or Bradbury short story and of course leads to some unique challnges for our heroes who are hosting a radio show.

This is clearly a movie with limited budget but not ambition as it manages to bring together a great script, some damn fine performances and taught direction that really shine as a whole.

I felt truly blessed that I knew nothing about this movie when it started. I was honestly blown away by the quiet tone and how the paranoia and claustrophobia start to escalate as the radio show descends into chaos.

I loved the way Pontypool bucked recent trends for gore, ultra violence and remaking classics. It is an original and honest horror movie that should be seen by all.

Definitely one of my faves from the festival and of 09 in general.

Reviewed by TC

pontypool2

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