Pontypool (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes


Pontypool (2009)



Critic Consensus: Witty and restrained but still taut and funny, this Pontypool is a different breed of low-budget zombie film.

Pontypool Photos

Movie Info

A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town.

Watch it now


Stephen McHattie
as Grant Mazzy
Lisa Houle
as Sydney Briar
Georgina Reilly
as Laurel Ann Drummond
Hrant Alianak
as Dr. Mendez
Rick Roberts
as Ken Loney
Daniel Fathers
as Nigel Healing
Beatriz Yuste
as Nancy Freethy
Tony Burgess
as Tony (Lawrence)
Boyd Banks
as Jay (Osama)
Hannah Fleming
as Maureen (Farraj)
Rachel Burns
as Colleen (Daud)
Laura Nordin
as Spooky Woman
View All

Critic Reviews for Pontypool

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (31)

It's when our grasping for digestible concepts, clear causality, or anything resembling resolution is as thwarted as the characters' struggle to articulate or take action, that we're in the best position to absorb Pontypool's full impact.

March 27, 2018 | Full Review…

Alarmingly intelligent and deeply disorienting, Pontypool plays as a radically different film upon subsequent viewings, its metaphor-filled dialogue seeming to shift and alter in meaning with every scene.

December 1, 2010

This low-budget picture is a little too claustrophobic, and it grows tedious. The ominous, overbearing musical score tries but fails to jack up the tension.

December 17, 2009

An original take on genre movies of its kind.

October 20, 2009 | Rating: 3/5

Inventive and genuinely suspenseful, this is a welcome addition to the expanding zombie/virus canon.

October 16, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This cerebral horror movie plays Scrabble with the genre's cinematic lingo.

October 16, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Pontypool


just when i thought the zombie genre was totally played out...

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


The first half of Bruce McDonald's "Pontypool" is a sort of masterclass in tension building. The atmosphere and looming dread evoked from the films terrific sound design is outstanding, especially when you factor in the film's minuscule budget. Helping things along are three strong lead performance, especially from the always reliable character actor Stephen McHattie. We instantly care about these people, and we are right there with them as the world seemingly crumbles around the radio station they're held up in. Ultimately, Pontypool's highly original and undeniably loopy concept/ commentary (a zombie-like virus is spread through certain words of the English language) is it's marginal undoing, as most of the tension and paranoia of earlier scenes dissolve through prolonged and confused explanations as to how the plague works in the first place. I'm still not sure, but neither are the characters in the film so I can buy that; what I can't fully buy is the tonal shift that reduces the morbid fun of what came before it. Luckily, not even my major gripe could dissipate my enjoyment that much. "Pontypool" is still a really good film, and a fresh take on both the horror and psychological thriller genres. It could have been great (as indicated by the stellar first half), but sometimes a flawed original speaks volumes. In this light, "Ponypool" is well worth seeing.

Michael S
Michael S

Super Reviewer

Pontypool Quotes

News & Features