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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Review: Polaroid

Director: Lars Klevberg
Screenplay: Blair Butler
Year: 2019

Synopsis: Loner Bird Fitcher has no idea of the dark secrets contained in a mysterious antique camera which she stumbles upon. It doesn't take long to discover that those that have a picture taken by it meet a tragic end.

"Polaroid" is one of the movies featured in my list of most anticipated movies of 2019. From the start, I knew that this did not seem like a movie that would be groundbreaking in the horror genre, but the trailer got me interested, as well as its particular curse with its release. This movie was filmed in 2017 and its release was scheduled for that same year but several problems and scandals not concerning it were responsible for changing a few times its release date until it was finally released this year. All of these changes I think will end up playing against the popularity it can obtain, as I barely noticed its release and I'm sure that it will go under the radar of plenty of people, and those who know about its story might have high expectations of it. It's a shame because it's not a bad movie.

"Polaroid" doesn't bring anything fresh and is just a typical movie about teenagers being haunted by a curse or malignant entity that wishes, above all, to release its fury through deaths. The PG-13 rating makes it clear that it has no intentions of taking risks and that is what happens, even in the most creative and violent deaths, there is not a drop of blood and many times limit what the viewer can see of them.

Given that the grotesque and violent is castrated, there is no more choice than to hold on to the jump scares and ambient to create tension and moments of horror, and this it does well. Most of the jump scares are effective and even when they use some of those we constantly see in horror movies, they also contribute some creative ones. The ambient is fairly similar to that found in Japanese horror movies but this is not surprising, as the producers in this movie were also involved in the United States adaptations of “The Grudge” and “The Ring”.

The plot follows the same formula as the rest of the movie, where it follows a story we have seen before but adds some factors and creative twists to it. In particular, some of the twists that happen in the outcome caught me by surprise and I liked that they leave the viewer with two possible stories about the motivation of the curse, but it does not lean towards any and it's left to the viewer's discretion which story it wants to believe. This movie is not exempt of questionable choices, and some plot holes, the story is generally well constructed and flows easily, always around the topic of the camera and photography.

It is a shame that "Polaroid" has had such bad luck with its distribution when right now is only available in some countries because it is worth watching. It has its problems and is not something out of this world, it is entertaining and bring a few interesting and creative ideas. The tension and ambient are crafted well and the creature looks surprisingly well for being CGI. This is the typical horror movie filled with jump scares with which you have a good time.

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