Kathryn PrescottSamantha Logan...
In 1 Cinema
You know how you are home alone, and you hear a noise coming from the kitchen? Terrified, you slowly tiptoe there, maybe with a weapon, but it turns out to be nothing? Well many horror movies use these situations, and Polaroid does it really well, it just turns out the tiptoe to the kitchen is the scariest thing.
Polaroid follows high school outcast and photography buff, Bird Fitcher (Kathryn Prescott), as she happens upon a vintage camera with a dark, secret past. Bird is quick to take people’s pictures with the camera before she realises that that might be their doom.
The film’s concept is cool, with antique cameras, unexplained shadows in pictures, and a dark history of the owner of the camera, but the CGI incorporation of what is not identified as a ghost or monster mummy from the beyond, takes away so much gravity from the Polaroid.
The effects make the film much sillier than it could have been, especially with a juicy background like the one they have for the camera’s owner and his story.
The fact that they don’t really explain what the creature is, also made the film much less convincing; horror films do not have to define what the monsters they feature are, but they have to convince the audience that these creatures could exist and give them a hint at why they do, but Polaroid does not do that.
What the film does do well is cleverly and constantly employ an appeal to the moments you are home alone, hear something, and start freaking out. Anyone in the audience can deeply relate with these moments, and the film prolongs them to both build suspense and make it seem more realistic. This tool is the most, if not sole, scary part of the movie because of its subtlety and relatability.
There are some graphic scenes and violence, but nothing too grotesque for the reasonably lighthearted.
For the acting, Kathryn Prescott was walking the cliché line, occasionally swinging between some different character and a stereotype of the outcast high schooler who has lost a parent. Prescott’s character is not exactly originally written to begin with, but her efforts do not manage to make her character distinctive from the array of similar roles audiences have seen in such films over the years. The supporting cast playing her schoolmates didn’t do any better with no single stand-out performance and a strict adherence to cliché characters.
If Polaroid had taken a different turn when it came to the creature they feature and written the characters to be just a tad more original it could have been a cool horror flick, but now the coolest parts are how you can see yourself in the film: home alone and freaking out.