Polaroid (2019)

Polaroid (2019)Bird Fitcher is a teenage girl who loves old things, and is working a part-time job at an antique store. When a co-worker brings in an old Polaroid camera, she’s really excited, and starts using it, snapping pictures of her friends. She soon realizes that something is not quite right with the camera, as the photos show a shadowy figure looming over the persons on the photo…and very soon it becomes apparent that the photos taken with the Polaroid camera has a very deadly effect.

 

This is based on Lars Klevberg’s horror short from 2015, by the same name (you can watch it here: Polaroid Horror Short). And while this movie has been released just recently, it’s not really new…it was originally set to be released in 2017, but due to the Weinstein Company bankruptcy it was almost like the entire movie had been flushed down the drain as a result. However, in 2018, Lantern Company (which had acquired a lot of the Weinstein Company’s assets) and an international distribution company called “13 Films” decided to have the movie released in 2019. In the meantime, however, Lars Klevberg more or less “debuted” with his “Child’s Play” remake, which received a fair amount of positive reception as well as doing quite well at the box office. So…a happy ending after all, it seems.

 

Now, while I personally think that Lars Klevberg’s “Polaroid” short is well made and quite creepy, I’m afraid to say that I didn’t quite get the same feeling from this feature film. Now, horror shorts have the advantage of keeping things subtle, and not necessarily giving away the “why’s” and “how’s”. This is something that often gives them a more creepy vibe since the mystery is kept, the boogeyman isn’t revealed and is kept in the shadows. In feature films, however, viewers are more likely to be pissed off by things being too vague or questions not being answered…in movies, as opposed to shorts, we more or less expect answers to what is happening. And sadly, this is what can turn a creepy concept into something that ends up more or less like a typical “run-of-the-mill” horror movie. Unfortunately, “Polaroid” does end up in this category.

 

That being said, Lars Klevberg does manage to build up the tension and atmosphere in some of the scenes, and while lacking any real scares I’m going to judge it as what it’s clearly intended to be: a teenage horror flick, meant for a younger audience. Those of us that have already seen a fair share of horror movies will probably get a Déjà vu all to quickly (we’ve seen it before, done better…but also done a lot worse). When getting closer to the final act, the film also does offer up an interesting twist to the Polaroid’s reason for being cursed/haunted, which was a welcome surprise.

 

So: just consider this movie an easy-going teenage horror, and bring some popcorn, and you might find something to enjoy here.

 

Polaroid

 

Director: Lars Klevberg
Country & year: USA | Norway, 2019
Actors: Kathryn Prescott, Tyler Young, Samantha Logan, Keenan Tracey, Priscilla Quintana, Javier Botet, Mitch Pileggi, Davi Santos, Katie Stevens, Grace Zabriskie, Madelaine Petsch, Erika Prevost, Shauna MacDonald, Rhys Bevan-John, Emily Power
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt5598292/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POLAROID – Horror Short

Two girls are moving out after Sarah’s mother has passed away. In the clearing they exploit an old Polaroid camera possessed by a dark past.

 

“Polaroid” is a Norwegian horror short, directed by Lars Klevberg (who recently made a name for himself with the remake of “Child’s Play“). “Polaroid” was actually made into a full-feature film which was originally set to be released in 2017, but was delayed due to the Weinstein Company bankruptcy. Thus it was released in 2019 instead. This horror short, however, was made in 2015.

 

POLAROID - Horror Short

 

Director: Lars Klevberg
Country & year: Norway, 2015
Actors: Annika Witt, Thea Sofie Loch Næss, Anne Cloetta
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt3956872/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P O L A R O I D (Norwegian horror short) from Lars Klevberg on Vimeo.

 

 

Child’s Play (2019)

Child's Play (2019)Kaslan Products have invented a brand new toy: Buddi, the interactive doll that is the most high-tech product available that can also connect to all other Kaslan products and smart home devices. These dolls are produced at a factory in Vietnam, under terrible working conditions. The movie starts off showing us one of the depressed workers getting harassed and fired, and before finishing his final Buddi doll, he removes all safety precautions before he commits suicide by throwing himself off the roof of the factory. Of course, no one knows that the latest doll he worked on was been tempered with, and it is shipped off together with all the others…

 

Soon afterwards, we meet Andy and his mother, Karen, who have just moved to a new place and is trying to settle in. Karen is working at the local hypermarket, that is also selling Buddi dolls on a regular basis. When one of the customers returns a Buddi doll due to it being defected, she decides to bring this doll back home to give it to her son. Despite not working the way it’s supposed to, both Andy and Karen believes it’s just a harmless defect. When Andy can make it swear and do funny things that would not be possible with any of the “normal” Buddi dolls, he’s also able to befriend some of the neighboring kids. All seem fine to Andy for a while…but with this doll having all safety protocols disabled, it’s soon showing signs of a behavior that can turn out to be quite dangerous.

 

“Child’s Play” is a remake of the 1988 classic by the same name, and is directed by Lars Klevberg. This movie is quite different from the original story, however. In the original film, the soul of a serial killer (Charles Lee “Chucky” Ray) entered one of the dolls after being chased and killed inside a toy shop. In this remake, we get a modernized version where Chucky is simply an AI doll that’s been tampered with, and developing a behavior that is not really his fault. In many ways, you can even sympathize a bit with Chucky in certain scenes, like when Andy and his friends are watching a horror movie (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”, which was in fact totally banned here in Norway back in the day…something I suppose director Lars Klevberg knew since he’s Norwegian as well). When the kids start laughing and enjoying themselves, Chucky believes that the killings are “fun”, and he goes to the kitchen and brings back a knife as he believes it will make them laugh. And the doll shows signs of distress and confusion when it realizes that this did not make Andy and his friends happy at all. Thus, Chucky is a completely different “villain” than in the original…and while the original is a horror classic from the 80’s, it’s refreshing to see a remake that does something completely different. When Chucky goes crazy and starts killing, it’s all based on a wish to keep Andy safe and happy. And to be his “best buddy”…

 

The doll is voiced by Mark Hamill, in which we get a little “Star Wars” reference when Andy tries to make the doll name itself “Han Solo”, but due to the defect it thinks he said “Chucky” (which, of course, references the original “Child’s Play”). The movie also brings us some pretty neat killing scenes, and a fair amount of blood and gore. It’s entertaining and fresh, just don’t expect the same story as the one from 1988 as this is a totally reimagined version.

 

Child's Play

 

Director: Lars Klevberg
Country & year: USA, 2019
Actors: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson, Gabriel Bateman, David Lewis, Trent Redekop, Beatrice Kitsos, Ty Consiglio, Carlease Burke, Hannah Drew, Kristin York, Zahra Anderson, Marlon Kazadi, Nicole Anthony
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt8663516/

 

Vanja Ghoul