In horror films, it’s easy to turn any object into the ultimate death tool – even a camera, like the film POLAROID proves. However, that is far from a guarantee for a scary scare. We reveal why in our review.
The Plot Summary
Bird Fitcher (Kathryn Prescott) works at an antique store while attending high school. When she receives an old instant camera as a gift from a colleague, she is very happy because it is a real collector’s item. But Bird quickly realizes that her snapshots have fatal consequences, because anyone who is photographed by her will soon meet a gruesome end. After she takes photos of several classmates at a party, everyone begins a race against time to uncover the secret of the camera and escape death…
Movie explanation of the ending
In 1992, RL Stine launched the youth horror series “Gänsehaute”. To date, it includes 70 regular volumes, a whole bunch of special editions and two successful film adaptations with Jack Black himself as the author in the leading role. The 15th book in the series, “The Uncanny Camera,” was published in November of the year it was written. It’s about a camera that predicts the future for the “victims” it snaps; and that only has disasters in store. 27 years later, “Polaroid” appears in cinemas as a genre film, something like the adult version of this scary children’s horror book. Except that the teen shocker, who has been in the poison cabinet for over a year because of the Weinstein affair, has absolutely nothing to do with the “Goosebumps” series, but needs this comparison to show how miserable he is. RL Stine’s books were quite scary for his young readers (the author of these lines knows this from experience!), but they were also what they are: children’s books – and therefore only suitable for giving their target group the path to the real horror genre to level. Compared to “Polaroid,” however, the “Goosebumps” volume, which was later supplemented with the novel “Please Smile,” appears to be maximally disturbing. Lars Klevberg’s film, based on his own short film, is a complete failure.
Avery (Katie Stevens) faces death.
When the controversial “Slender Man” came into theaters a few months ago, the film made a name for itself not only because before its release tens of thousands of people had tried to stop it through a petition for reasons of piety, but above all because it is so bad. The horror film, which was completely cut up and sometimes almost unwatchable due to its lack of lighting and the resulting dark imagery, became a modern low point in the genre, whose success, measured in terms of production and box office costs, can only be explained by the creepypasta on which the film is based enjoys a certain cult status (and unfortunately, to determine that a film is bad, you first have to watch it). However, “Slender Man” has achieved one thing: from now on it serves as a new benchmark for what can still be represented qualitatively and what would be better described with the term “impudence”. It’s hard to believe, but Lars Klevberg even undercuts his colleague Sylvain White’s film, so that we almost feel sorry for the bad words towards “Slender Man”. Apart from its directorial amateurism, this is primarily a victim of its difficult production history, during which the film was shortened several times to include particularly shocking scenes. In a way, “Polaroid” also has a backstory that is not entirely scandal-free, but it has nothing to do with the film itself.
“Polaroid” was originally scheduled to hit theaters in August 2017, but was then postponed to December 1st, then to Thanksgiving weekend and finally to an unspecified date. So long before the Weinstein scandal, people didn’t really know what to do with this film and that’s exactly how it feels now. Although the history of the genre is full of items that only elicit a shrug of the shoulders from the hard-core horror fan, they certainly allow beginners a gentle introduction (keyword: “Wish Upon” or “Another Me”), putting “Polaroid” in this category , on the other hand, would unnecessarily discourage the inexperienced horror newcomer from enjoying horror. Klevberg’s 15-minute short film quickly felt redundant in its mechanisms. Inflated to an hour and a half, the feature-length version consequently results in a lot of idle time, while everything in between is barely identifiable. Cinematographer Pål Ulvik Rokseth (“22nd of July”) can’t help the instructions he was given. He can therefore do nothing about the darkness that is omnipresent in atmospheric moments, but under these conditions he seems completely lost. The result: Whenever something happens in “Polaroid” (which isn’t often the case anyway), the light goes out around the protagonist and everything else can only be seen dimly, which means that the score (Philip Giffin, “Table for Three”) has a particularly negative impact.
Devin (Keenan Tracey) unleashes his anger at Connor (Tyler Young).
Up to a certain point, however, all of this isn’t the biggest problem, after all, it’s almost impossible to identify the creepy something that haunts the interchangeably cast (and acting) friends in “Polaroid”. Everything that happens in between is much more stressful than Kathryn Prescott’s (“To the Bone”) The student clique led by the group gives in to the simple basics of things that have been seen many times better in films like “Ring”, “Final Destination” and even “Slender Man”. In her attempt to discover the secret of the seemingly cursed object, screenwriter Blair finds Butler (“Hell Fest”) Although there are a few very nice horror motifs in a few cases: If someone tries to destroy the photo that shows the next victim, the person’s body has to deal with the same consequences. So you can imagine what would happen if someone sets the picture on fire or tears it in half. But the idea clearly takes precedence over the result, because the trick effects also adapt to the horrific environment. Even the resolution matches this. How Bird and her friends ultimately destroy the creature kept alive by the camera is so obvious that as a viewer you figure it out after just a few minutes, but then discard the idea – if the main characters don’t figure it out too, it can be that easy yes not be. But. It can.
Conclusion: “Polaroid” spent over a year in his studio’s poison cabinet and it would have been better left there. The scary moments don’t work because you don’t recognize anything and everything in between is so interchangeable and dispassionate that not for a second during the 88 minutes do you feel like you’re actually watching a horror film.
“Polaroid” can be seen in USA cinemas from January 10th.