Pontypool (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pontypool (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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Movie Info

A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town.
Rating:
PG
Genre:
Art House & International , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

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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Critic Reviews for Pontypool

All Critics (80) | Top Critics (16)

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.

December 17, 2009
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 16, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | September 1, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 5, 2009
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | June 5, 2009
Salon.com
Top Critic

A horror flick that's all talk and (almost) no action? The risk pays off better than you'd think.

Full Review… | May 29, 2009
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Pontypool

½

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

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

½

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

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