Vampire Owl: I have heard about this case of a vampiric camera.
Vampire Bat: There is no such thing as a camera for vampires. We don’t even appear on the mirror unless we take the necessary measures.
Vampire Owl: I have heard about this camera which kills people.
Vampire Bat: It could be a werewolf thing. They are the ones who are really interested in cameras, posing for photos all the time.
Vampire Owl: What about the zombies?
Vampire Bat: They haven’t really invented the camera yet. The zombie lands are just trying to come out of the stone age.
Vampire Owl: I am sure that they won’t be able to do that any time soon.
Vampire Bat: Stone age actually suits them, but surely the camera won’t.
Vampire Owl: So, what are your thoughts on a camera which kills the people whose photos are taken on it?
Vampire Bat: It is a good way to kill those people you don’t like, I would say.
[Gets a paneer dosa and three glasses of mixed fruit juice].
What is the movie about? :: Sarah Dawson (Madelaine Petsch) and her friend finds a polaroid camera among the items left her mother, the former takes a gorgeous photo of her friend to show to her boyfriend, but the friend finds a shadow standing at her back, and is hunted by a mysterious entity which keeps coming for her at night, and it finally twists her neck and kills her. Much later, the same camera is found by Tyler Drew (Davi Santos) who gives it to Bird Fitcher (Kathryn Prescott), a shy teenager whom he has a crush on, and also lets her take his photo to test it. Bird, who goes home, decides to go on a party with her best friend Kasey Walters (Samantha Logan) who gives her a Little Red Riding Hood costume to attend the programme which is hosted by Avery Bishop (Katie Stevens), one of the much adored girls of the school. On the way, Bird sees a shadow behind Tyler in the photo, which she considers to a problem with the print.
So, what happens with the events here? :: At the party, she takes the photo of Avery and Kasey, along with some other friends including Mina Rodriguez (Priscilla Quintana), Mina’s boyfriend Devin Lane (Keenan Tracey), and her own high school crush Connor Bell (Tyler Young), offering a better quality printed photo in an instant which they can keep instead of getting lost among the thousands of photographs on a random mobile phone. After the party, Bird is informed by Sheriff Thomas Pembroke (Mitch Pileggi) that Tyler was killed inside the antique shop where she was also working. During the same night, when everyone else had left, Avery is killed by the same entity which murdered Tyler, and Bird who finds the shadow no longer in his photo, but in the party pictures, gets tensed, and tries to destroy the camera, but fails. Nobody seems to feel the need to believe her. Now, she has to find a way to save them all, but will she have them in time before everyone gets killed one after the other?
The defence of Polaroid :: There is not much that Polaroid doesn’t try to do, as it is sure that the focus has to be on the camera, and it establishes the same in the beginning stages itself, starting the killing spree, just a few minutes into the movie. The idea here is really good, and there are moments when the movie seems to be struggling, and then it comes up with something more. It manages to put some twists and turns in there, related to the antagonist, and the incidents which had happened before this ghost came into the scene. The visuals are good, and the surroundings are nicely chosen – the darkness is used well, and so are the sound effects. The evil spirit is nicely established as the one thing which cannot be stopped, early itself, as trying to destroy the camera and the photos taken on it won’t work. With a short run-time less than one and half hours, the movie handles everything directly and without confusion.
The claws of flaw :: With a camera at the centre of everything, like the tape in The Ring movie franchise, this one could have achieved more. After all, those who get their photo taken by the camera dies, and there is a serial killer past behind it – such a case is certainly worth more. It does leave the feeling that we have seen all these before, on many different occasions. Also, even after getting a pretty good cast to work with, they are not used that well. If it was another movie which had such a young talent, a more dramatic tale might have came into existence. Even when there is a party, there is nothing much happening there, except for a photo being taken here. It has an antique shop, just to take a photo, and to kill a person. Some of the deaths also happen without much of an innovation, as a person gets chased, and just gets killed, failing to impress.
Performers of the soul :: Kathryn Prescott surely is a talented actress, as it is her who manages to lead well throughout this movie. She does looks younger than her age, and so she suits the role well – her expressions also make it work better. Madelaine Petsch is limited to a small role in the beginning, even though we were given the feeling that she was the one who was to play a major role here – she is limited to that introduction to the polaroid camera programme. Tyler Young and Samantha Logan who plays the next supporting role manage to come up with an okay job. The other friends played by Katie Stevens, Priscilla Quintana and Keenan Tracey are just there to fill up the list of people to be killed by the camera because of being a part of photographs. In a movie like this, it seems that it is death that defines these next line of friends.
How it finishes :: Polaroid could have had you scared about taking photos, but it doesn’t rise to that much of a scary level – still, it is worth watching for some fine moments which are there, and the innovation does come into picture at times. If you are looking for another movie to watch for lock-down, this one is there. It is not the kind of movie which will appeal to all horror lovers, as we have been bombarded with multiple sequels and spin-offs of The Conjuring with movies like Annabelle and The Nun coming up with some more demons and spirits. Polaroid can also provide you with a spirit with a past, and you can watch it to add another one to the list. You are sure to enjoy it in parts, and the last few moments are quite good – therefore, it is fine to wait for the same. It is not a movie watch by many, and so, you can’t go with the critical opinions with just very few reviews.
Release date: 17th September 2019
Running time: 88 minutes
Directed by: Lars Klevberg
Starring: Kathryn Prescott, Grace Zabriskie, Samantha Logan, Katie Stevens, Madelaine Petsch, Priscilla Quintana, Tyler Young, Javier Botet, Davi Santos, Keenan Tracey, Mitch Pileggi
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.