From the time Pontypool was mentioned to be the next film we were about to watch, I didn’t understand what the title was. I have the habit of googling the films we watch in class to check for summaries but since I was only guessing the spelling of what I thought I heard, I started the film not knowing what to expect. The film began with a voice speaking what seemed to me as random words. I could only pick up things like a lost cast, panties and random snippets of words that did not make sense when put together.
From what I understood, Pontypool was the place where the radio station was, if it had any significant contribution to the movie plot, I don’t know. What the title did for me was to give me a premonition about what I was about to do the whole movie; question over and over again (in my head) about what they were saying and what exactly was happening. I was lost.
This film felt like inception in a way, the plot, from what I understood, was that people should not understand the words of the English language as how they understand it. If they begin using terms that are infected and understand that word as it should be understood, then they would turn into zombies. So if I was part of the movie, since I did not understand I thing, I would probably not be infected?
I think the horror of the movie, although not as apparent, came from the not knowing. Not knowing by the audience and the characters of the movie as well. We were given unclear audio narrations of what was going on outside the confines of the radio station and all seemed chaotic but the image was left for us to visualize on our own.
The zombies in the movies were referred to as ‘conversationalists’ and a warning was given to stay away from words of endearment. (Wasn’t Grant Mazzy the one spreading the virus all along since all he did was talk on air for everyone to hear?) Anyway, certain words infected people, and for Sydney, grant’s only companion, it was the word kill. When Grant discovers that the only cure was by changing the meaning of the word kill for Sydney, he gets a brilliant idea by going on air and confusing people with random words. And then the screen goes blank. Did they all die?
Maybe if Grant stopped talking then he wouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place but then, I don’t really know. I can’t claim to understand the movie because I didn’t, If the movie’s point was to confuse then it succeeded, greatly. Also, many reviewers pointed out the center of the word Pontypool being typo which was a bit interesting for me, maybe it was not meant to be understood?