Saturday, September 2, 2017

Day 306: Pontypool

Definitely a Netflix watch based on an Ain't It Cool suggestion. I think it might have wandered off Netflix in the meantime but I'm not sure.

Pontypool follows three people in a radio station during the outbreak of a crisis. Stephen McHattie (poor man's Lance Henriksen) is a shock jock who has come into work despite a blizzard. His producer and his station manager are also there working. Thanks to their news copter reporter, they are slowly able to get information about what seems to be a riot breaking out around a doctor's office. Soon, there are reports of people eating and killing each other and a warning from an unknown source to avoid using the English language. The doctor makes his way to the radio station and explains that the spreading zombie apocalypse is all due to certain infected words. If you hear the right word, you become infected and either kill someone or die yourself. With the premise established, things start going wrong.

I like the originality of the idea, zombie plague via spoken words but the execution falls a little short. It is probably the budget limitations of the movie but there is a lot of telling and not showing in this (mostly from phone calls into the station). The movie is essentially a three to four hander (once the doctor shows up) and the four actors carry the weight of the material well. The only other problem I had besides the lack of visual variety was the fact that the disease is never fully explained even with the big mid-movie exposition dump. The concept is just a little too heady to be straight up horror.

If you want a new take on a stale genre, check this out. If you need things like visuals and clarity from your films, maybe skip it.

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