Pontypool: Communication and the Human Language

“Pontypool” is a horror film where a mysterious and unknown virus hits the small town of Pontypool, Ontario. With regards to the movies I did not enjoy watching in class such as “Deadgirl”, “Grace”, “May” and now “Pontypool”, recently, I have been noticing a trend and this is my belief that all of their storylines continually get weirder and weirder. With that being said, I obviously did not like “Pontypool” for the reason that I was completely bored waiting for an exciting thing or two to occur throughout the movie. I also had a feeling it was not properly characterized in the horror genre since it was more suited as a psychological thriller. Initially, I thought that it would be one of the usual zombie movies I have been used to watching but I think it is one of the most common misconceptions made by people after seeing the said film. Although it was apparently a low-budget film in which majority of the events took place in a radio station, I honestly think that the film was intelligent, creative, original and one of a kind.

The film began with Grant Mazzy, a radio announcer, driving to work and encountering a strange woman who knocked on his car but suddenly disappeared. As he arrived the radio station, Laurel-Ann and Sydney, his two co-workers, were eventually introduced. Still bothered by what happened earlier, Grant Mazzy received news from reporter Ken that there was a riot at Dr. Mendez’s office. Ken’s call got repeatedly cut off until they heard of a possible infection. Soon after, Pontypool was then declared to be under quarantine and, they were warned to stay indoors and avoid using the English language. A mob of people attack the station and Laurel-Ann also got infected as she repeated a certain word over and over again. Dr. Mendez arrived and explained that a virus has infected the human language particularly the English language where only certain words are infected which in turn infect certain people only.  Laurel-Ann ultimately died and in order to drive the horde of people away, they played a recording recurrently and spoke in French. They decided to escape but Sydney also got infected and before it was too late, Grant Mazzy successfully disinfected her by convincing her that “kill” meant “kiss”. The movie finally ended with the two of them kissing.

“Pontypool” unquestionably brought everyone to a sudden state of confusion when it was revealed that the virus is in the human language itself and this was the first time it ever happened in class. In addition to this, no one also understood the significance of the scene after the credits. I guess one of the objectives of the horror film is to leave its audience with a number of unanswered questions for them to try to evaluate themselves. It can also be noticed that only Grant Mazzy was not uninfected by the virus which again showed the victimization of women through the characters of Laurel-Ann and Sydney. Moreover, the human language ironically served as a barrier which delineated the people from each other resulting to their abjection. I believe the film wished to inform its audience not only about the limitations of communication and the human language but also to be cautious before you speak.


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