Pontypool, Bruce McDonald, 93 mins, (15)
Starring Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle
Thursday 15 October 2009
Another zombie movie? Hold that sigh of exasperation, this is different.
For a start, most of the action happens within a talk radio station in remote Ontario, where a wry-voiced DJ (Stephen McHattie) and his producer (Lisa Houle) begin receiving confused news items about odd behaviour among the locals. Bruce McDonald cleverly builds tension by simply watching the faces of the two leads as they realise the reports aren't a hoax after all, and that their lives might be in danger. The explanation for the virus – it's carried in language, of all things – is ingenious but unsatisfying, and the ominous mood of the first half-hour dissipates beneath a quasi-philosophical panic about the abuse of words. But McHattie and Houle are terrific as the besieged duo.
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