The Chernobyl Diaries works best when it works outside of the audience's expectations. When the film focuses more on the weirdo fauna (which could've been considerably weirder, as the film's not gunning for historical veracity) and parsimoniously doled out traces of life, it's not bad.
"Chernobyl Diaries" isn't the first pop culture property inspired by the world's worst nuclear accident. Last year's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" began with an alien robot mission to the disaster site, and in the "S.T.A.L.K.E.R." series of video games released starting in 2007, players attempt to survive Chernobyl's post-meltdown conditions and an eruption of mutant creatures.
In the Pripyat evacuation, "people basically didn't have a chance to pick up their belongings," Peli says. "They all just vanished overnight, and there's not a place like that on Earth. It's so creepy and eerie and fascinating — maybe it'd make a great setting for a horror movie."
Even with its brisk 90-minute running time (including credits), Chernobyl Diaries soon proves repetitive with its endless scenes of the frightened victims wandering into forbidding environs only to keep running into things that go bump in the night.
Six tourists hire an extreme tour guide who takes them to the abandoned city Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. During their exploration, they soon discover they are not alone.
t’s the story of a group of American tourists who decide to spice up their European vacation by heading to the site of history’s worst nuclear disaster. When they arrive, however, our heroes discover that they’re stranded – and they’re not alone.
However, moviegoers won't be the first ones to be scared from this horrifying tale, as the actors were genuinely scared by the director on set. RELATED: 'Hangover' Trio Headed to Tijuana? "We did keep them in the dark and scare the hell out of them," director Bradley Parker revealed. "There were a lot of cases where I didn't tell them exactly what was going to happen.
Despite an unlikely setting and a moderately intriguing premise, Chernobyl Diaries proves to be a generic horror flick where young tourists are systematically victimized in unoriginal and not terribly scary ways. There are a few jolts, but no real surprises in this predictable thriller, co-written by Oren Peli, who did a far more effective job of scaring audiences out of their wits with Paranormal Activity.
The new Jesse McCartney horror flick "Chernobyl Diaries" is a slap in the face to the 400,000 victims of the real-life nuclear disaster ... so says a Chernobyl recovery organization.
For those unfamiliar with the Chernobyl disaster ... (shame on you if you're one of them) ... scores of people were killed or disfigured when the nuclear power plant exploded in the Ukraine in 1986.
Critics haven't been kind to "Chernobyl Diaries," which comes from the mind of "Paranormal Activity" producer Oren Peli. The film has a mere 42 precent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and that number could drop lower as more reviews file.