Friday Night Frights: "Pontypool" (2009) | Movie Review

Stephen McHattie as Grant Mazzy in "Pontypool" (2009)

Genre: Horror
Release Date: March 6, 2009
Runtime: 1 hr. 36 min.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Welcome back to Friday Night Frights! This week we are talking about a mind-twisting 2009 movie that probably flew under your radar: Pontypool. To be honest, it's one of those films that's best watched without knowing much about it because figuring out what's going on is part of the fun. But here's the thing: trying to figure this out, and thinking about what's happening just may make you feel like you're going insane. Makes you curious, doesn't it? All I'm going to tell you about the plot is this: a radio DJ, Grant Mazzy, shows up to work only to find out a dangerous virus is taking over the town.

Your friend is sick. I’ve seen a lot of this lately.
She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s hunting us.
— Dr. Mendez

Pontypool does have a bit of a slow start, but eventually things get interesting... and very strange. I have to say, the idea behind this film is very intriguing, and it will successfully mess with your mind, occasionally making you feel like you're losing it. I loved the unique way the virus was spread, and once the lead characters attempt to find the solution the movie really starts hurting your brain. The choice to contain most of the film in one location definitely paid off as well and gave it a very claustrophobic feel.

Unfortunately, Pontypool takes a while to get from telling to showing, so the pacing feels off. The audience is told about the symptoms of the virus, and about what's happening outside, but the movie isn't fully engaging until it actually shows the real danger. As a result, some parts (particularly in the first half of the movie) feel like they go on for too long while also not doing much to create tension. 

Overall, I definitely enjoyed the unique take on the virus epidemic Pontypool had to offer, and there was a fair amount of unsettling and scary moments in there as well. I just wish the movie was paced better. If you're looking for a interesting twist on the genre - definitely give this one a try!


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