The semi-Norwegian horror feature Polaroid will be released on home video for the first time on May 17th. It’s origins are Norwegian and in spite of a troubled release, the director went on to bigger projects.
In 2015, Lars Klevberg directed the 15 minute Norwegian film Polaroid, in which two young girls, both social media enthusiasts, one night get bored. They decide to play around with an old Polaroid camera. Unfortunately, the camera was possessed by a dark past. The spooky short was picked up to be remade as a feature film by Dimension Films, and to be directed by the original creator.
Principal photography began in Halifax, Nova Scotia in March 2017 with the original premiere date set to August 25, 2017. The film was then delayed until December, then moved back to November, and then pulled from the schedule, with plans to release the film in 2018. In October 2018, Lantern Entertainment (which acquired The Weinstein Company’s assets through its bankruptcy) and 13 Films, an international distribution and finance company, struck a deal to co-distribute the film internationally. This happened first in German cinemas in January 2019 and then in Vietnam in February, and in May and June the film will premiere in Greece, Australia and Italy. Meanwhile, the German bluray and DVD is coming out on May 17th, Norway’s national day. Plans to release the film on Netflix were scrapped earlier this year. At the time of writing, no UK or US home video releases are in sight.
The feature version follows roughly the same storyline as the original short film, in the vein of The Ring and Final Destination. It centers on a high school loner, Bird Fitcher, who stumbles upon a vintage Polaroid camera. Bird soon learns that the camera houses a terrible secret: whoever has their picture taken by it meets a tragic and violent end. The girl and her friends must survive one more night as they race to solve the mystery of the haunted Polaroid before it kills them all.
In spite of a low key, limited release, the film must have made some impressions because Lars Klevberg, whose debut feature was Polaroid, went on to direct the Child’s Play remake that will come out this summer.
Polaroid is a Canadian-Norwegian-American-Australian coproduction and stars Kathryn Prescott, Tyler Young, Grace Zabriskie and Mitch Pileggi (X-Files).