Bad Words

Pontypool was perhaps the most confusing film that we had ever watched in class. It had one hell of a twist; one that would never had entered my mind. The film starts off Grant driving through a blizzard. A woman suddenly taps on his window and says words repeatedly. At this moment, I was already thinking that this could be a very scary and exciting film. The entire film takes place in what looks like a radio station. They only find out about the events happening outside through phone calls. Ken, a reporter for the station, reports about a riot that is happening at the office of Dr. Mendez. He mentions that there is total chaos and that people are dying. His report appears to be referring to some sort of zombie apocalypse. Ken gets cut off but is able to call back a short while after. Ken reports that there is something odd about the infected people; that they are mumbling words repeatedly. I thought that it was a great idea to have the main characters locked up in a radio station, without any knowledge on what was actually happening outside. The viewers were also limited to what the main characters knew. The film became very interesting to me since the events outside remained a mystery, thus sparking my curiosity. A few moments later, Dr. Mendez appears inside the radio station. He notices that Laurel-Ann is exhibiting the symptoms of infection which leads them to lock themselves in the booth. At this point, I was already on the edge of my seat since it seemed to me that the exciting scenes were coming up next. I thought that they would learn that the people have been infected and that their only chance of survival is to escape from the town. I was really shocked when the twist was revealed; that the English words are infected. From this point up to the end of the film, I became absolutely confused. I did not know how words can infect people. I did not know why only English words are infected. I did not know why speaking in another language could save you from the infection. Towards the end, Sydney suddenly appears to exhibit the symptoms of infections. She begins to say the word “kill” over and over again. For some weird reason, Grant was able to cure her by making her say “kill is kiss”. I did not really understand how associating the infected word with something else could cure a person. Grant, as an attempt to cure other people, begins saying tons of English words. I did not understand why Grant, who kept on speaking in English, remained uninfected. After the credits, Grant and Sydney were shown talking about something that made no sense at all. The film left me thinking in my head, “What was that? What just happened?” I did not really know what it meant and what it was for. I could not say that I enjoyed the film since I did not really understand it. The beginning, to me, was brilliant since the thought having no knowledge of the chaos outside really kept me hooked up on the film. The ending, on the other hand, was just too confusing for me to enjoy.

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