Welcome back fellow Acolytes of horror. Today we have Bradley Parker's "Chernobyl Diaries". This film was released in May of 2012, so its still relatively recent. This story was drawn up and produced by "Paranormal Activity's" Oren Peli and like his paranormal counterpart this movie has a very familiar feel to it.
What is the plot?
Well six tourists who travel to the Ukraine are brought together for an "extreme excursion". A visit to the town of Pripyat. A small little city right outside of Chernobyl, where reactor number four exploded and vapourized the area, leaving it a radioactive ghost town.
Does this offer us anything we haven't seen before?
Well not so much. It is different from "Paranormal Activity" but not so different that you can't tell its not the same creator..... Wait does that make sense?........OK yeah it does.
What could you relate it to?
It's pretty much Paranormal Activity, Resident Evil and the Descent, rolled into one.
What did I like?
I liked a lot about this movie actually. The cinematography in this movie is great. I watched the blu ray version of this film and the quality is really well done. There is a really nice flow from the beginning of this movie to the end. The change in mood in particular. The movie starts off really happy and positive, there is a scene about 20 mins in that has no volume, other then the music in the background. The camera pans around the characters and showcases a really strong positive mood.
The movie then gradually gets darker and darker, to the point where its quite frantic and horrific. This film is also not done in the first person camera style, which is a nice change from these usual type of films. You can see more of the third person perspective, but it still keeps the intensity that the first person brings.
The acting in this movie is also really good, because its believable and comes across very natural and doesn't feel forced or overdone.
Lastly the intensity and horror aspect of this film like many of it's type are done well. This movie will keep you going and not bore you.
Ok so what is not so positive?
Well the problem with these type of movies is that they are a bit on the predictable side. This one unfortunately does fall victim to that. From the beginning you can probably guess what is going to happen. It doesn't take away from the entertainment, but it does from the suspense and plot.
Is it Scary?
I can imagine people in a movie theatre jumping out of their seats a few times. I'd say its reasonably unnerving, but because of the predictable plot, the scary moments themselves are also a bit predictable.
This movie is worth seeing. Unfortunately it is not on the Canadian netflix, so you will have to either stream it somewhere else or pick it up on dvd/blu ray. My copy was only $15 so if you got nothing better to get for that much, then it might be worth it. If you like the "Paranormal Activity" series alone, this will be worth it for you. Also if you are a fan of "The Descent" then you should also like this.
4/5 Blown up reactors
Here is the trailer: