Polaroid is a 2019 horror film.
8 out of 10 stars. It starts out slowly but gathers speed after the first half hour. It is scary and the plot is very original.
In the first few minutes a young girl is going through her mother’s things after her death and comes across a 1950s Polaroid camera. She takes a photo of herself and in the image is the shadow of a man behind her. After her friend leaves she’s killed by that shadow.
Fast forward to Bird who works in an antique store with Tyler. Tyler comes across an antique 1950s Polaroid camera and gives it to Bird knowing that she loves old cameras. And of course she immediately takes his photo. Behind him in the photo is a dark smudge which later takes the shape of a man. That night he mysteriously dies.
Bird goes to a Halloween party the following night with her best friend Casey. The kids have nicknamed her the girl with the scarf (she wears a scarf to cover up the scar on her neck), so she spends most of the evening by herself. Then Connor notices her and she follows him upstairs. Casey and her friends are upstairs and Bird takes a photo of them which inadvertently includes her reflection in the window. Another girl, Avery, grabs her camera and takes her own photo. She dies later that night.
All of the photos taken with the camera have the same dark smudge behind the people and that smudge turns into the shape of a man as time passes. Then the person in the photo dies. Unless another photo is taken then they are the next to die. In that respect the plot resembles the Final Destination movies. Another creepy feature of the camera is that each time it takes a photo it makes the sound of a human crying.
The following day, when the group is together and learn that Avery has died, they decide to burn the group photo. But the moment they light the photograph on fire one of the girls’ arms starts burning, the same spot as in the photo. Once they put the fire out in the photo her arm stops burning. Uber creepy. Plus now they’re back to square one.
Bird goes back to the antique store to try to figure out where the camera came from. While there the shadow figure attacks her and that’s how she realizes her reflection was in the group photo.
Eventually the group discovers that the camera was originally owned by a girl named Rebecca Jane Saber and has her initials, RJS, on the case. Rebecca was being molested by her father Roland Joseph Saber and he was taking naked photographs of her. He was also the high school photography teacher and he released the naked photos he took of her among her high school friends to try to shame her into staying home and under his control. Instead, her friends launched a campaign to save her. Four of them snuck her from her home and he caught them. He killed three before he was caught and killed by police. The fourth became Sheriff Pembroke.
There were a lot of plot holes. Polaroid cameras don’t take more than ten photos from one cartridge. That’s because the camera cartridge is like a self-contained photo lab. There isn’t enough room for more than ten photos’ worth of emulsion. That emulsion also expires within a few months. It would never last years. The film was also way too dark to see the subtle changes in the shadow as it attacked its victims.
8 out of 10 stars. Very watchable and very original.