Polaroid is a dark and stylish thriller that made a splash on the festival circuit in 2015. Set in a large Norwegian farmhouse in the middle of winter, two young ladies, Sarah and Linda, are clearing the place out after the death of Sarah’s mother. Most of their conversation surrounds social media and the posting of provocative shots to the benefit, or expense, of their reputations, but this light-hearted chatter gives way to fear when strange occurrences emerge following the uncovering of an old Polaroid camera. Polaroid. relies on familiar mechanics: inexplicably dark hallways, devices mysteriously activating independently, doors closing on their own, which Klevberg doles out these tense sequences with a level of thoughtfulness and subtlety. The blink-and-you-miss it VFX of the initial Polaroid snap is a wonderful example of this restrained, but potent approach to horror. A frequent gripe of mine is horror shorts that are far too dimly lit, and while Klevberg and his DP, Pål Ulvik Rokseth, keep much of the latter half of the film in impenetrable shadow, they use it to their advantage as an element of composition as opposed to a disguising veil.

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