Polaroid

Okay, stay with me through the silly premise. It sounds absurd, but it is a nice little horror movie. A group of teens find an old Polaroid SX-70 and discover that when you take someone’s photo with it a demon shows up and murders them. But trust me, it’s better than it sounds.

This 2019 supernatural teen horror film has a big silly premise, and it’s not on the level of something like The Exorcist, but it still has some value if you look for it. It’s also a great horror movie to watch with friends this Halloween. It’s not too scary, but it has some good jolts. It has some great plot twists that work really well. It has a creepy monster that is fun to see in glimpses throughout the film. Is it dumb? Yes, but that’s okay.

The film follows high school outcast Bird Fitcher, played by Kathryn Prescott. She works at an antique shop and loves analogue photography. She has a troubled past that is hinted at in the early scenes that you just know if going to come out in a tearful confession late in the film. One day she is given an old Polaroid instant camera. She takes her coworker’s picture. Later that night he is murdered by an unseen force. It’s a solid little scene involving an old slide projector that begins showing a dark shadow that eventually comes after the unsuspecting teen.

Bird goes to a party and takes photos of her friends who begin dying one by one. The friends join forces to uncover the true nature of this camera and why it is possessed of an evil force. Through this middle section there is some dumb stuff like the demon being sensitive to the same things that photo development is sensitive to. But there’s also some great stuff like when they try to burn a photo and the person in the photo begins burning in real life. It’s a good scene.

What really sold me were two really good ghosts scenes and two great plot twists. This movie is almost really good. As it is with the dumb stuff it’s only good enough, but I had a lot of fun with this little good enough movie. I think you will too if you turn off your dumb detector and enjoy the ride. It’s currently streaming on Netflix if you’d care to take that ride.

It’s my cup of tea. B

Spoiler territory! I will be ruining the movie from here on out.

So the plot is dumb, I can’t get over that. Take a polaroid and die. I don’t imagine the Polaroid company was happy about that one, but I digress. Any dumb plot can be redeemed by a solid explanation in my opinion, and the explanation we get here is good. In fact we get two of them.

The first comes from the widow of the camera’s owner. She tells our teens that her daughter loved the camera and her bullies used the camera to take vile photos of her. The shame of this caused her to kill herself and now she haunts the camera taking vengeance.

This turns out to be a falsehood. The second explanation is that the girls father was a monster who abused his daughter and took those photos. Her friends tried to get her away from her father. She killed herself and the father went crazy killing all the teens her could find. He was so possessed by malice and evil that his soul latched onto the camera and continues killing anyone who uses the camera.

Maybe you’ll find both versions dumb, but they both worked for me, and the way they are laid out for the audience really fooled me. I like when a movie can surprise me, and this one did a couple of times. For that I commend the movie and justify my recommendation.

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