A Month of Horror: Day 11

11 October

Movie: Pontypool
Bird Box

I would not be surprised if you had not heard of today's cinematic selection. Pontypool is an excellent example of how claustrophobia and a contained area can be used to ramp up the excitement and fear in a movie. The film takes place almost entirely in a small radio station's broadcast area. It follows the outbreak of a language based virus which causes people to become violent and even cannibalistic. Yes, you read that correctly. People become infected via contact with certain words and phrases. It is a concept which shouldn't work, but does. Much of the initial action takes place elsewhere with the "man in the field" reporter calling into the station. The reactions of the former shock jock DJ and his "staff" are played perfectly.

People seem to either love or hate
Bird Box. I found it to be one of the most inventive novels I have read in years. Something is moving through the world, something whose very visage drives people murderously insane. The book follows Malorie and her two children as they prepare to enter the world for the first time in five years. The action is intercut with flashbacks to the initial outbreak and reaction. The characters must figure out how to navigate through the world without their use of sight.1 The tension created through descriptions which focus solely on the other senses is exquisite.

1. Josh Malerman
2 performed a reading at my local library recently. Audience members were given blindfolds similar to the ones used by the protagonist in the story. The dramatic reading which followed, complete with sound effects, was spine chilling.

2. Malerman is not only an author, but a musician (hence the focus on sound?) who lives in the same city I do. We also share a birthday. Just a couple of fun facts for you.