Hello, and welcome back to Netflix Dumpster Dive, the movie review series where I consistently drop the ball on posting on time.
Jokes aside, it’s been a busy past few weeks, and I had planned this review much in advance, but I was distracted by some developments in my life, all of them extremely exciting for me. Regardless, I apologize to my followers for falling a bit behind, but I am here with a special edition of Netflix Dumpster Dive.
My birthday was May 30th, and in celebration I decided to go back to my roots in this series, and tackle a zombie film. Not just any zombie film, however. My favorite zombie film: Pontypool.
I am excited for this review for a number of reasons, so I am not going to dally any further, and step right into it.
Pontypool is a 2009 zombie horror film starring the extremely talented Stephen McHattie and Lisa Houle. It is, however, a zombie film with a big twist. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, homegrown undead plague. No, Pontypool’s zombies have a very unique spin on them.
I am going to say right now, if you are interested in zombies, particularly zombies that are done in an original and interesting style, go watch Pontypool without me spoiling it for you. You will be much, much better off seeing this film without knowing.
Still here? Not decided yet? Seriously, I’ll wait. Last warning.
Okay, if you’re still here I take it that you don’t care about the spoilers or my snark. So, without delaying anymore: The zombies in Pontypool are unique in that the virus is not spread or even exclusively started through bites. The virus spreads through language. Literally, through the English language. Spoken word- in a sense, “ear worms” -infects people, and causes them to slowly lose their minds and become not only bloodthirsty zombies, but bloodthirsty zombies who vigorously echo the last sentence or phrase they heard.
It is unique, it is fun, and in many cases, it really is scary. One of the best parts about this is the setting. It takes the idea I went into in my What We Become review, the “survivors trapped in a house with no exit” concept from Night of the Living Dead, but incorporates their situation of being on a radio show. Imagine, a radio show, a broadcast of constant human speech, in the midst of a virus that attacks the very words you speak.
I love it. I love it more than I probably should. However, it is so exciting for a unique concept to have spawned in the zombie genre, even if it was eight years ago. Because, let’s be honest, the zombie genre has gotten quite tired in recent years. It saw a decline after the tragedy of World War Z and has been slowly disappearing since, so seeing a zombie now and again is almost refreshing, but even then, original ideas for the genre are so far and few between that this movie was a BIG find for me.
Now, sure, it’s got original zombies. What about the rest of the movie? Why should someone indifferent on the genre watch it?
Pontypool is a truly gripping story. It has a slow burn at the beginning that pays off tremendously later. Its characters feel real and fun, each with a distinct personality. The suspense is built so beautifully every step of the way, and I was hooked on each of those steps more and more. The movie blends in comedy, dry and oftimes morbid, but nonetheless funny, with its serious story to create a tone that immerses the viewer from the start. I cannot sing this film’s praises nearly enough.
One thing I want to mention, so that those who are tuning into the film after reading this review are aware, there is a post-credit scene that’s very purpose is to confuse the audience. My advice: the characters speak to a doctor. Take mental note of everything he says, and it will make more sense. No spoilers. Just keep it in mind.
Do I recommend Pontypool? I think you know the answer. Unless you can’t handle gore or suspense, watch this movie, if for no other reason than to give support to an original and fun zombie movie. Even then, I have confidence that most who give this movie a chance will greatly enjoy themselves. I’ve watched it more times than I can count now, and in all honesty, after this is posted I will probably watch it again. Definitely, definitely, give this movie a chance.
Personal Rating: 9/10
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed yourself and want to tune in for more Netflix Dumpster Dive, please give the site a follow. You can also check out my books in the menu above. I had a blast with this little review, and I hope people give this movie the attention it deserves. Thanks again!
©2017 Vincent C. Russo. All Rights Reserved.
I claim no rights to any film mentioned here. All rights to these films and the images used go to their respective owners. This post is intended for review only, and constitutes fair use.