Thursday, 6 October 2011

Horror Review: Pontypool (2009)


A psychological Horror/thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town.

This Canadian Horror is based on the novel "Pontypool Changes Everything" by Tony Burgess, I have to admit I have not read the book so I can't make any comparisons between the two. Starring Stephen McHattie as Grant Mazzy, a radio host, this film's one location shooting from a basement drags you into it's tense atmosphere, so much so, you feel you're right there with the characters.


The claustrophobic feel of this film works so well, along with a great script and great acting, it really doe's ramp up the tension, sometimes it can give you an uncomfortable feeling that everything is not going to be okay, which is a rare feeling nowadays. 


The casting of Stephen McHattie was pure genius! The guy single handedly pulls you in, it's hard to look away when he's on screen, just like he says in the film "I'm taking no prisoners" and you feel like he means you, the audience, aswell.


If you haven't seen this film I suggest you do so a.s.a.p! It really is surprising that this film is unknown to most people, it seemed to fly under the radar. Well.....what are you waiting for? WATCH IT!!! 


To see the trailer for "Pontypool" click here


Miscellaneous facts about the film



  • One scene features Neal Stephenson's novel 'Snow Crash', a book featuring an ear worm or memetic virus that transfers itself through verbal information.

  • The wavering line seen at the beginning was synchronized to the sound of actor Stephen McHattie's voice.
  • The original conceptualization for the movie was to have Burgess read the script with the wavering line being the only visual. Sydney's voice would be heard and Laurel Ann would only get a mention.
  • Writer Tony Burgess and director Bruce McDonald are intending to include more exposition for two planned sequels.
  • The second and third films in the series were actually conceived before the first one.
  • Writer Tony Burgess and director Bruce McDonald feel that the events of the film are truer to the actual unpredictable nature of a virus (i.e. why person A would contract the virus and why person B would not).
  • Actress Georgina Reilly had a problem with her character's having to "babble" and was concerned about what the words would mean to her character.
  • Tony Burgess, the film's writer and the author of the novel on which the film is based - "Pontypool Changes Everything" - makes a brief cameo in the film as the male singer of Lawrence and the Arabians. His character is credited as "Tony (Lawrence)". (In fact, at the end of the scene where the singers have performed for the bemused Grant Mazzy, Mazzy himself actually refers to Burgess' character as "Tony Burgess.")
  • "Pontypool" was produced as both a motion picture, and as a radio play. Both versions of "Pontypool" were influenced by Orson Welles' infamous radio production of "The War of the Worlds."The radio play was broadcast on the BBC's Art & Culture section of their World Service website. It is approximately 58 minutes long, as opposed to the film's running time of 95 minutes.

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