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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Polaroid (2019) - Haunted Memories

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars)

Released 01-10-2019

Watched 10-06-2023

Reviewed 10-12-2023

Watched on Hulu

"I work at this antique store."

Amid the labyrinth of high school life, where the quest for identity meets the fears and anxieties of growing up, "Polaroid" introduces us to Bird Fitcher - a high school loner who stumbles upon a relic from the past, a vintage Polaroid camera. But as the film's tagline ominously suggests, "Beware of what you snap," not all old things are just memories. Some, as Bird discovers, carry dark and foreboding secrets.

What begins as an innocent fascination with the retro device soon spirals into a nightmarish reality. The camera, instead of preserving moments of joy, seems to predict the macabre fate of those it captures. As Bird delves deeper, she realizes a terrifying truth: those whose images are imprinted by this cursed camera are doomed to meet tragic and untimely ends. It's a compelling premise that taps into the universal fear of the unknown and the unsettling realization that, sometimes, the past refuses to fade.

Yet, "Polaroid" often plays it safe, relying on tried and tested horror cliches rather than charting its own course. The tension, while palpable, is interspersed with familiar jump scares and predictable plot twists. However, the film's strength lies in its detailed homage to vintage photography and the eerie ambiance that surrounds the world of Polaroid cameras. The suspense built around waiting for a Polaroid picture to develop, knowing the potential horrors it might reveal, offers a unique thrill in itself.

Furthermore, Bird Fitcher's journey as a high school outcast navigating a world of supernatural threats, while still grappling with her own personal demons, adds depth to the narrative. The cinematography, especially in sequences spotlighting the camera's chilling effects, stands out, capturing the essence of suspense and dread with every flash.

In summation, "Polaroid" may not redefine the horror genre, but its fresh take on the perils of tampering with relics from the past offers enough chills for a one-time watch. If you have a penchant for the world of old-school photography or are just in the mood for a suspenseful flick, give this one a shake and see what develops.

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