Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

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CHERNOBYL DIARIES

They said nothing survived. Something did.

Directed by Bradley Parker

Reviewed by Deep Red

Oren Peli, the writer of Paranormal Activity (2007), wrote the story and co-wrote the screenplay of this one. It was filmed in Serbia and Hungary, not actually Pripyat due to nuclear radiation. That said and not being at all familiar with the real Pripyat I think the locations used in this film are first-rate, love the Ferris wheel.

Chris (Jesse McCartney), his girlfriend Natalie (Olivia Taylor Dudley), their friend Amanda (Devin Kelley) and Chris’ brother Paul (Jonathan Sadowski) decide to visit Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant for a spot of extreme tourism. They meet their guide Uri (Dimitri Diatchenko) and another couple taking the tour, Michael (Nathan Phillips) and Zoe (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal). They are initially denied entry by the Ukrainian military but their guide gets them to Pripyat using an abandoned checkpoint. When they’re ready to leave Pripyat they find the van’s wires have been destroyed so they’re effectively stuck there into the night.

This gets 19% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer which is just…. I despair, I really do. I didn’t find a problem with the cast, I thought they were great. Olivia Taylor Dudley is smokin’ hot as Natalie! I didn’t see any bad acting, not that I’m an expert, but I didn’t, I’m not going to say I did just because I read it somewhere else. As I said I thought the locations were first-rate, just right for the story and a bit more. Honestly, I thought the locations were brilliant, they really give the film a decent atmosphere. You know, I’ve got to give credit where credit’s due for cinematography here. I’m not demanding people agree with me, I just thought it worked, it worked for me and I consider myself pretty fussy when it comes to locations.

Anyway, looking at how scary the film is for a minute, well, I think there’s a decent amount of tension and mystery, the film for the most part lets you conjure up what’s going on in your mind, first time you see it, which is great. I think if you get into it then it delivers. Once the film starts to reveal itself, there’s no disappointment, or I didn’t think so. The plot turns out to be no major surprise I suppose, not that I’m going to give anything away, but I think it’s executed well enough to overcome any predictability issues, you decide, and the effects never stray from above average so….

I’m going to recommend it because I really enjoyed it. I even think the conclusion is satisfactory but again there’s no way I’m revealing anything. I’ve watched it a few times already because I think it’s entertaining and original. Judge for yourself.

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