Bird (Kathryn Prescott) is your typical vanilla final girl whose friend Tyler (Davi Santos) gives her an old Polaroid camera from a yard sale. Unfortunately it’s a haunted camera–that’s bad. But it comes with film–that’s good! It also dooms everyone who has their picture taken–that’s bad. Can Bird solve the riddle of why the camera is so pissed off before she and her friends die?
Polaroid is a movie of few surprises. Basically, if you’ve seen one PG-13 movie about a group of cursed friends dying off, you’ve seen them all. We have tropes like the victim wandering slowly around her house, calling, “Hello?” and “This isn’t funny!” and “I’m all by myself and hearing suspicious noises, so let me go investigate my pitch-dark attic without so much as a flashlight!” (Okay, she actually says only two of those.) We have the love interest Connor (Tyler Young), the sassy best friend of color Kasey (Samantha Logan), the adventurous friend Mina (Priscilla Quintana), and her boyfriend Devin (Keenan Tracey), plus popular girl Avery (Katie Stevens). We have the obligatory old newspaper search (as well as a phone search), the visit to the character who knows it all, and Javier Botet.
The characters aren’t especially likable–even the SBFOC, who’s usually much more interesting and enjoyable than the final girl. The majority of Kasey’s lines involve some slight variation of “This is so messed up,” and “This is crazy” and “Yo.” (At least she doesn’t say “whack.”) The dialogue in general came across as inauthentic to me. And with each death, the kids get more blase about the situation, until they practically let one sacrifice him/herself and take advantage of it. (Though he/she is the most obnoxious one anyway.)
It does pick up around the end, once the mystery starts unraveling and Grace Zabriskie shows up. She can outcreep Javier Botet any day. Overall, it was entertaining enough. I wouldn’t say skip it, but you definitely don’t need to give it your full attention.
If you’re in the mood for a serious haunted photograph movie, check out Camera Obscura too.