Director: Bruce McDonald

It's a ballsy concept: Make a zombie movie without showing many actual zombies. In other words, create something that will make anyone who hated on the first half of The Walking Dead's second season feel bad about ever crapping on AMC's slow-building horror series.

When a director has a lead performance as engaging and rich as Stephen McHattie's in Pontypool, however, a mostly walker-free 90-minute exercise can be a fruitful one, and that's definitely the case here. McHattie plays a shock radio jock who gradually covers an undead apocalypse from the comfort of his recording booth. To deliver the expected scenes of nightmarish tension, filmmaker Bruce McDonald relies on the actor's facial reactions to sell moments in which field reporters calling into the station get attacked.

The results, though largely devoid of Z-men and women, are more than effectively suspenseful.