Bruce MacDonald (Highway 61, Hard Core Logo) directs Pontypool – a low budget 2008 movie that is a quiet, eerie horror movie. The film is set in the small Ontario town of Pontypool. Stephen McHattie (the original Nite Owl in Watchmen) is a radio announcer. The radio station he works in is located in the basement of a church.
It’s Valentine’s Day and McHattie is working with only his producer and his technician in the station. A winter storm is about to hit the town and their field reporter has suddenly reported that riots and murders are occurring in the town. It appears that the citizens are acting like zombies but they aren’t the flesh eating undead. MacDonald has made it clear in interviews that these aren’t zombies, what they are gives away a major plot point that I won’t reveal here.
The movie is based on Tony Burgess’ novel Pontypool Changes Everything. The film is set entirely in the radio station – creating a claustrophobic atmosphere. There isn’t a lot of action but that works in the movie’s favour as the tension slowly builds as the characters discover what’s going on outside in the town through phone calls and reports that come in. Of course it’s only a matter of time before what’s happening outside starts to effect the small group inside.