Pontypool (Relaxed Screening)

Canada 2008, 93 mins
Director: Bruce McDonald

+ intro and discussion.

Terror strikes an Ontario town after an aural virus infects its inhabitants, with radio announcer Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) the last line of defence against the zombie hordes. Bruce McDonald’s terrifying horror offers a new twist on the zombie formula by exploring the nightmarish qualities of language and the dangers of uncontrolled repetition.

Selected and hosted by Ethan Lyon, co-host of the Autism Through Cinema podcast.

Director: Bruce McDonald
Production Company: Shadow Shows
Producers: Jeffrey Coghlan, Ambrose Roche
Writer: Tony Burgess

Stephen McHattie (Grant Mazzy)
Lisa Houle (Sydney Briar)
Georgina Reilly (Laurel-Ann Drummond)
Hrant Alianak (Dr Mendez)
Canada 2008
93 mins


Our In Dreams Are Monsters relaxed series will focus on two films that explore the limits of the human experience and the experience of living with autism. The absolute edge of consciousness provoked by overstimulation and the effect it has on the mind and body, especially the autistic mind and body, will be our focus for this short series.

Whether it’s the threat of your body morphing without your control or the nightmare of being locked in repetitious speech through an aural virus, both The Fly and Pontypool feature characters who are forced to re-evaluate their relationships with their own bodies when they encounter technology that threatens their sense of self.

After each screening join us for a relaxed discussion in the Blue Room as we unpack what makes these threats so chilling and how we can understand something of what it means to be autistic through these films.

Screenings selected from our In Dreams Are Monsters season by Ethan Lyon, a doctoral student at the University of Southampton and a co-host of the Autism Through Cinema podcast. His research focuses on fostering understanding around the lived experience of autism through gothic horror cinema from the 1930s to the 1960s.

We welcome your feedback on this screening.

BFI Southbank has been awarded the National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award.

The next relaxed screening is:
THE FLY + intro and discussion Monday 28 November 18:00 NFT3

Find out more at and

Relaxed Screenings

Relaxed screenings are presented each month for
those in the neurodiverse community, their assistants and carers.

• Customers can select their seats when they arrive in the auditorium. You may sit with your family/friendship group or there are some single seats if you prefer.

• Please leave space between yourself and other groups and retain your selected seats for the duration of the performance if possible.

• We encourage you to wear a face covering if you are able to.

• You are welcome to take refreshments into the auditorium but no hot food please.

• Doors will open 30 minutes before the screening.

• No trailers will be shown.

• The programme will be introduced.

• Our house lights will remain on a low level throughout the screening, and the volume will be turned slightly down.

• You will be able to leave the auditorium and return during the screening.

• There will be a quiet space to use if you need to leave the auditorium.

• We understand you may make some noise.

• Please ask us if you need help.