Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pontypool

It takes a certain kind of movie to take place in basically one room and still keep your interest without flashing all over the place or giving you the inevitable escape. Pontypool is one such movie. It takes place in a radio station where the lead broadcaster is going about his show when disturbing reports of rioting and mobs start to creep in. They are dismissive of it at first, but soon they're drawn into an infectious outbreak that turns people into maniacs and they try to stay on the air and keep the populace informed while learning that they themselves aren't safe and may be helping to spread the disease unknowingly.

I really can't say more without spoiling several key discoveries, but suffice to say, this movie rocks. Like the previously reviewed Dead Air, this movie takes place in a radio station but the great part is that you never leave the room. In Dead Air, they try to keep us interested with action scenes and even a cause for the outbreak. In Pontypool, which takes place in the town of the same name and is based on the book Pontypool Changes Everything, the closest we get to the outside world is the front door, but even then only the characters, not the audience, are allowed to see outside at what the world has devolved into.

The intensity builds from the very start, as we're treated to an oscillation wave of Stephen McHattie's voice and then see him traveling to his job at the radio station in his car. We see the outside of the building and then we're locked in for the duration, and damn if it isn't a fun ride. The tension just keeps getting higher and higher until everything reaches a breaking point and then throws you for another loop. All the while, you're stuck in the same room for the most part and then you get a little bit of the building, but not much more. Great performances all around from the cast help keep this a taut thriller with little in the way of gore, but what it does offer is pretty damn awesome. Check it out.

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