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Film / Polaroid

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Polaroid is a horror film based on a short by Lars Klevberg starring Kathryn Prescott, Tyler Young, Samantha Logan, Mitch Pileggi, and Javier Botet. It was supposed to be released on December 1st, 2017, but was delayed due to The Weinstein Company's troubles. It was given a digital release on September 17, 2019, and a limited theatrical release on October 11.

The film centers on high school loner Bird, who stumbles upon a Polaroid vintage camera. She soon discovers that whoever has their picture taken by the camera will meet a tragic end.

This film contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Roland was sexually abusive towards his daughter, Rebecca. Possibly Lena, too, given that she tries to cover up her husband's actions.
  • Big Bad: The entity residing in the Polaroid, Roland Sable.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The camera resists attempts to destroy it. Bird throwing it against a wall causes a sort of pulse that knocks her back, but the camera is undamaged.
  • Cursed Item: Photographs from the camera act as talismans that draw a demonic entity to the victims within them.
  • Darkness = Death: The entity's attacks always take place in heavy darkness. Even if there are lamps on, they will strangely produce very little light. Later it's revealed that the entity has the power to black out rooms its victims are in. This is theorized to be because, like a photograph, it can only "develop" in the dark.
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  • Driven to Suicide: Rebecca Sable in the past, because her father abducted and killed her friends and sexually assaulted her.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The later deaths use this; though they aren't shown, what happened is clear.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Polaroid's original owner, Roland Sable, who's spirit is now tied to the camera.
  • Haunted Technology: The Polaroid camera is possessed by some kind of entity. Namely, the ghost of Roland Sable.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Roland's ghost is ultimately done in by the Polaroid camera, just like its victims.
  • Karma Houdini: Lena Sable, who is never seen getting punishment for what she did and lying to the protagonists.
  • Implacable Man: The entity within the camera. Bullets don't seem to hurt it at all, but heat can repel it for the time being.
  • Kill It with Fire: Roland Sable is killed this way.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • The entity is speculated to attack in the dark because it's linked to the camera's photos, and developing photos can be damaged by light and heat. It can inflict Darkness = Death at will, but it has no solution to heat and can be repelled by sufficient temperatures.
    • The photographs act as demon magnets, drawing the entity to the victim within them. Sympathetic Magic discourages victims from trying to destroy the photographs. However, this can be weaponized, and both the protagonists and villain do so, eventually leading to the latter's defeat.
  • Magical Camera: The titular Polaroid.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The first few deaths aren't shown, but they are heard.
  • The Reveal: At first, it seems Roland went Papa Wolf (in a horrible way) against the four teenagers who bullied his daughter to suicide...except it's revealed to be not the case, as it turns out: Ronald was sexually abusive to Rebecca and the four teens were actually her friends. When they tried to get Rebecca to tell the truth, all but one were killed by Roland. Rebecca, feeling guilty on not helping her friends and trauma from the abuse, kills herself in grief. In the end, when Roland died, his soul became tied to the camera, and now he murders whoever has their picture taken with it.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Lena tells the main characters that this was why Roland killed the three teenagers, since they caused his daughter to commit suicide. She's lying.
  • Shrinking Violet: Bird is this.
  • Sympathetic Magic: If a picture taken by the Polaroid is damaged, said damage will transfer to whoever is in the photo. This also works on Roland Sable.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: The main protagonist is named Bird, because her father though she looked like a cornish game hen at birth.

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