Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pontypool. (2008) Bruce McDonald

A brainy film for October Chillers.

In the beginning was the Word... And the Word became flesh... And the darkness didn't understand it...
-John 1

This is one of those films in which the idea itself is its own selling point. The writing is sometimes a little clunky, and the performances here and there are spotty, although both have their own high points at times. But the idea behind this story, it's psyche, or sub-narrative, makes the whole ride incredibly enjoyable -- feeling smart, though it may or may not be.

I'm not going to delve any further than that into the idea of the story itself. The less you know about the idea, the better. I knew nothing about Pontypool going in, only that it was categorized as a horror film and was recommended to me by a friend while I blast thru my October viewings. And I'm glad my friend suggested it, and I'm glad I knew nothing about it (and he didn't tell me anything, and I hadn't even seen a trailer for the film). Had I known anything at all, I may have skipped it, but the experience itself was rather fun.

Three people trapped in a radio station's control room hosting a local Ontario show must observe and report while the town around them crumbles apart. Fans of Romero or the popular TV show "The Walking Dead" might want to take a special interest. I'm not certain it's the same thing as those, but it will appeal to fans of that particular genre*.

This is not really a film with gore, though there are scenes of it here and there. And it's not a roller coaster ride either, where you hold on tight to its ups and downs, afraid it might derail at any moment. Pontypool is a smart film, which might actually work to its detriment. But enjoyable nonetheless.

File under "Better than a b-movie, not quite as thrilling as other horror."

*If the only way to classify Pontypool is in that particular genre, it's quite clever in how it subverts that genre as well.

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