Pontypool (2008) Review: A Great Excuse To Toss Around The Word “Meta”

Yell! Magazine’s review of Pontypool (2008):


Genre films.

We here at Yell! Magazine love our genre films. Zombie flicks, thrillers, zombie thrillers – the “Thriller” music video. They’re just wonderful in the sense that you always know what to expect when you step into the theater. They always deliver what they’re expected to deliver – it’s the unwritten rule of the horror film’s manifesto.

“Hmm, an exploitation flick – what sick realms of our cultural taboos will be exploited today, chaps?”

“Oh, a monster movie? What kind of rubber-suited man will be terrorizing the denizens of today’s urban metropolis?”

“Ah, a zombie film! I believe that this should definitely present an opportunity to view some fascinating members of the living dead, boys!”

Guess again, mein freund.

You thought you were getting hamburger, but instead you got – erm, well not steak, but uh – like… some kind of hamburger that is surprisingly tasty.

…Like, maybe it has like, a new sauce on it – that’s like, similar to chipotle, but it, uh…

AH TO HELL WITH THIS! These stupid analogies don’t work anymore! This whole language thing is just a pain in the ass – it can’t even aptly describe F’ing abstractions! It’s almost as frustrating as this star sys-

Just kidding, bro. You see, the above stream of consciousness describes the central theme to Pontypool quite nicely, actually. This particular zombie film happens to be much more than your-run-of-the-mill exercise is human-hunting. In fact, it might as well be a college course in semiotics.

No, wait, come back! I promise you that it’s not as boring as it sounds! It’s actually quite intriguing, really. It’s a genre film, with a little something extra sprinkled on top – something for those who crave an experience beyond what’s been served up for the last 40 years. You see, Pontypool might frame itself as a zombie film, but the virus in question that’s taken to infecting a small town’s populace has one sweet catch:

It spreads through language, itself.

“That shit’ll never catch on, pilgrim!”

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

“A fast-spreading virus that turns people into irrational zombies? Heh, I love allegory to organized religion!”

To which, I respond: “Yell! Magazine does not support, nor condone any forms of organized religion. The above is the author’s personal opinion and is not the opinion or policy of Yell! Magazine.”

Well, that was weird.

Read about the verdict after the jump…

Pontypool (2008) poster large
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
18 September 2009
Bruce McDonald
Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Hrant Alianak, Rick Roberts, Daniel Fathers, Beatriz Yuste, Boyd Banks, Hannah Fleming, Laura Nordin, and Georgina Reilly
Mystery, Horror, Sci-Fi
Official URL:

Pages: 1 2

More Articles Like This

Have Your Say Leave A Comment