I have to admit, while I was watching the movie, the thought of the movie being “cheap” and “budget limited” did cross my mind. Being an avid watcher of The Walking Dead, when I hear the term “zombie outbreak”, my eyes are hardwired to see a flock of zombies attacking the main characters of the movie. I mean come on, how can a TV show out-budget a movie? The scope of this type of movie is supposed to be wide, in order for viewers to see the magnitude when people talk about a zombie outbreak. When you go to Ortigas or The Fort, imagine all the people you see but them being zombies. THAT’s a zombie outbreak. A room filled with maybe 5 zombies just won’t process to me as an epidemic, but much rather like getting the common cold. But, digging deeper into the movie, maybe there’s more than meets the eye?
The movie is about shock-jock Grant Mazzy doing a radio show when the news of a zombie outbreak was announced to the public. Fearing they might be infected, they opted to lock themselves in their booth to not get infected. They then find out that the disease is transmitted through language, and they do everything they can through their broadcasted radio show to help out and spread the word.
In must be first stated that my appreciation for Pontypol has increased exponentially after watching it. Let me offer a simple question: What did I find scarier between Resident Evil and Pontypol? Both contain zombies. Check. Which contains more zombies? Resident Evil. Which, for me, did a better job in being a better horror movie? Pontypol.
This is a testament that quality over quantity. Pontypol only had few visual presentations to the zombie outbreak, but what it did well was that it did an exceptional job in talking about the scene much rather than showing it. It does a great job in painting a picture for the audience and is left into our imagination the idea of what was happening, which was usually done by the character
Ken, the radio stations, helicopter reporter. The mindset of “Let me tell you rather than show you“ becomes prevalent in the movie and gives the viewers the opportunity to interpret it how they like, giving the movie their own spin. This is so much different than other horror films because of how these films rely so much on visual cues and scary scary effects to elicit fear out of their viewers. This movie tackles a different way of portraying a horror movie because of how it uses mostly imagination. I woulds like to describe it as the next generation tele-radyo, and this movie portrays that beautifully. I would still like to consider Pontypol as a horror movie, and I would like to state that horror films are evolving and you cannot essentially encapsulate what a horror film is anymore. It is subjective, but one thing remains the same, and the type of emotions that it tries to get out of its viewers.
According to Joan Hawkin’s, “Sleaze mania, Euro-trash, and high art.”, high art is something that does not say everything explicitly, is something that is metaphorical, requiring a deeper kind of analysis in order to understand the art. These was portrayed well by Pontypol in my opinion, using a lot of open-ended scenarios that is left for the interpetation of the viewers. For me one thing that the audience to ponder upon is why does the film use “Language” as the medium for the disease? It may be a shot of something in the society, but it may also be just a way for the film to stand out. For me, the use of language is a metaphor that even the things we say are toxic for other peoplel. For me, it can also be a metaphor for gossip, as this may influence, or to a further or dramatized extent, brainwash and destroy the society.
Pontypol is quite the storytelling experience. It is a type of horror movie that offers the opportunity for viewers to really think about what’s happening in the movie in order to get a full grasp it, and invites them to see the bigger picture in what the movie is trying to portray. It’s definitely a deep movie, and who expected that to come out a horror film? It took me a while to understand this, but I’m glad that I got to.
Hawkins, Joan (1999). “Sleaze mania, Euro-trash, and high art.” Horror, the film reader. Ed. Jancovich, M. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.