Critics Consensus

Witty and restrained but still taut and funny, this Pontypool is a different breed of low-budget zombie film.



Reviews Counted: 86

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,468


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Movie Info

A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town.

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Stephen McHattie
as Grant Mazzy
Lisa Houle
as Sydney Briar
Georgina Reilly
as Laurel Ann Drummond
Hrant Alianak
as Dr. Mendez
Rick Roberts
as Ken Loney
Daniel Fathers
as Nigel Healing
Beatriz Yuste
as Nancy Freethy
Tony Burgess
as Tony (Lawrence)
Boyd Banks
as Jay (Osama)
Hannah Fleming
as Maureen (Farraj)
Rachel Burns
as Colleen (Daud)
Laura Nordin
as Spooky Woman
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News & Interviews for Pontypool

Critic Reviews for Pontypool

All Critics (86) | Top Critics (17)

This low-budget picture is a little too claustrophobic, and it grows tedious. The ominous, overbearing musical score tries but fails to jack up the tension.

Dec 17, 2009

This cerebral horror movie plays Scrabble with the genre's cinematic lingo.

Oct 16, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

An utterly baffling and stunningly boring zombie horror thriller.

Oct 16, 2009 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

However shrewdly contrived to keep its budget low, Pontypool, set almost entirely in a basement radio station, is a zombie flick sans bite.

Sep 1, 2009
Top Critic

For a while, this claustrophobic little horror movie is a dark little treat.

Jun 5, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

If you're a devotee of the deranged mind of Canadian indie auteur Bruce McDonald, then I can just tell you that he's made a horror movie (kind of) and that Pontypool is it.

Jun 5, 2009

Audience Reviews for Pontypool


just when i thought the zombie genre was totally played out...

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


The first half of Bruce McDonald's "Pontypool" is a sort of masterclass in tension building. The atmosphere and looming dread evoked from the films terrific sound design is outstanding, especially when you factor in the film's minuscule budget. Helping things along are three strong lead performance, especially from the always reliable character actor Stephen McHattie. We instantly care about these people, and we are right there with them as the world seemingly crumbles around the radio station they're held up in. Ultimately, Pontypool's highly original and undeniably loopy concept/ commentary (a zombie-like virus is spread through certain words of the English language) is it's marginal undoing, as most of the tension and paranoia of earlier scenes dissolve through prolonged and confused explanations as to how the plague works in the first place. I'm still not sure, but neither are the characters in the film so I can buy that; what I can't fully buy is the tonal shift that reduces the morbid fun of what came before it. Luckily, not even my major gripe could dissipate my enjoyment that much. "Pontypool" is still a really good film, and a fresh take on both the horror and psychological thriller genres. It could have been great (as indicated by the stellar first half), but sometimes a flawed original speaks volumes. In this light, "Ponypool" is well worth seeing.

Michael S
Michael S

Super Reviewer


A gravely voiced, caustic, down-at-the-heels radio shock jock demoted to a small town asks his listeners "why would you call 911?" after a strange encounter; just the set-up for a cynical, claustrophibic take on the curious popular notion of a zombie apocalypse. Based on the original Canadian radio play.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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