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    Review Pontypool


    A cold winter grips the small, Canadian village of Pontypool. Grant Mazzy, former big-name shock jock, has been relegated to local community radio, and battles through the blizzard to reach his new workplace. Once there, he is joined by two other staff members, a technical assistant and the station manager, as they find most of the station's communications either struggling or cut off entirely. But the show must go on.

    Mazzy clashes with his manager Sydney Briar as he attempt to bring his shock jock stylings to the small town morning news, and a slow, tense morning of school closure announcements, weather updates and lost cats begins.

    However, the oddly quiet news feed soon begins to send in some strange reports. Within the usually peaceful community of Pontypool, riots are breaking out. News is scarce, but they seem to be both sporadic and highly coordinated, with chants spreading through the crowd at an alarming rate. Bodies are crushed. The police are overwhelmed. There are rumours of a military intervention. And then...


    On the outskirts of the village and separated by a blizzard, the staff of Pontypool's local radio station try to make sense of what is happening, and as they collect more and more reports and attempt to separate fact from fiction, they begin to realise that their broadcast may mean the difference between life and death.


    Pontypool, adapted from the novel Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess (which I haven't read. If anyone has, please let me know, I'd be very interested in how it compares to the film) is somewhat difficult to describe. Similarly to Cabin in the Woods, the selling point of the film is a rather clever twist, and though I only bought Pontypool on the premise of this twist, I wish I hadn't known it before watching: It is handled well, and would most likely make for a fascinating reveal.

    So I will describe it only like this: Pontypool is a cerebral zombie film*. It is a zombie film for the thinking man (or woman), and while it contains little action, it is definitely clever, and it is definitely tense.

    This film is not for everyone, but for those interested in a horror film that isn't just about gore or cheap jump-scares, or for anyone interested in the zombie genre, I would suggest trying to catch Pontypool at least once.


    *Although I feel I should mention that the creators of the film do NOT refer to the infected individuals as zombies, and there is good reason for this. But for all intents and purposes, 'zombie' is the best description before watching the film. If you don't like zombie films, you'll probably find the same problems with this. If you do, and you don't mind a mostly-dialogue based film, then you'll find something to enjoy in Pontypool, even if it may not become one of your favourites.