Bruce McDonald cut his teeth on UK TV with The Bill and Queer as Folk. Here he shows what a fine film maker he has become. This is real drama which builds with every claustrophobic moment into something truly horrific. Not only through the events of what is reported, but also the conflict of characters and their own minds.
Basically, this is a zombie film with a big difference. Set in a radio station in the small town of Pontypool, reports start to come into the station of violent acts and crowd violence as the town turns to chaos, the staff at the radio station need to keep themselves focused and sane while the world outside turns upside down.
This is a simple and effective twist on the usual Z flick, and it’s excectsion is flawless. Performance’s from Stephen McHattie and Lisa Houle are brilliant as they work with the script and engage with such charisma and a natural concern to the growing horror.
Now, where this film fails, and probably the reason for the lack of cinema presence, is its reasoning for the viral outbreak, rather than a bug, the virus is one of the spoken word. Infected language which corrypts and contaminates the human in turn, creating crazy killing beasts spouting random quotes. I know, this sounds ridiculous, and yes, this is an issue which causes a failure. This could have been something very, very special.