Plot: Bird (Kathryn Prescott) is a teen with some odd interests, as she is more about antiques than parties, though her friends still try to lure her out into the modern world from time to time. When one of her friends gives her a rare, vintage Polaroid camera, she is ecstatic and can’t wait to put it to use, snapping a photo of the gift giver within minutes after she receives the camera. She even agrees to join her friends for a costume party and of course, she brings along her new camera and spends most of the night taking pictures of all the attendees. But soon some of Bird’s friend begins to die in horrific fashion and as the survivors struggle to figure out what is going on, it starts to look as if the camera is somehow connected. Is the camera cursed and if so, what caused a simple camera to become imbued with supernatural energies?
Entertainment Value: Polaroid was shelved for a couple years, which is never a good sign, but did it deserve to gather dust for a while? The end result here is a basic teen horror movie, not memorable or remarkable, but not awful either, just a by the numbers, formulaic experience. The narrative is fine, but the haunted camera premise is by no means a fresh one. Polaroid tries to balance that out with a convoluted reveal toward the finale, but the story never hooks you in, so the film relies more on dark visuals and cheap scares instead. The production values are rock solid, which helps the movie a lot, with slick visuals and good cinematography. These elements really enhance the film’s atmosphere and that again helps mask the predictable narrative. As this was aimed at teens, the PG-13 is no surprise and there’s little in terms of gore or even light bloodshed to be found here. A horror movie doesn’t need those elements of course, but when the story is rather weak and there’s not much that stands out, some creative or memorable kills can help. The cast is passable, mostly decent efforts from performers who aren’t pushed much by the material, but I am always happy to see Mitch Pileggi pop up, even in a smaller role. In the end, Polaroid plays like a predictable teen horror flick, which all things considered, isn’t that bad.
No nakedness. The movie is rated PG-13 and there’s minimal romance or sexual elements involved, so the lack of sleaze makes sense. But given that a Polaroid camera is the center of the narrative, some scandalous moments wouldn’t have been out of the realm of likely activities. A little violence at times, but Polaroid keeps the blood to a minimum and most of the kills happen off screen. There is one interesting death that involves a neat concept, but the limits of PG-13 turn what should be a nasty, blood drenched kill into a tame, sanitized one. The entity looks kind of cool, but reminds me of countless other, similar supernatural beings. But I appreciated the effects work, as the entity drums up some fun and that is much needed here. The dialogue is bland and forgettable, to the point I can’t remember a single line that got a laugh or stood out at all. No craziness to be had either, as Polaroid aims for the typical teen horror routine and that is exactly what it turns out to be.
Overall Insanity: 0/10