Chernobyl Diaries: Movie Review

"Chernobyl Diaries" fails to do anything right because it does not know what it wants to be. It uses the shaky cam technique extensively but feels like one shot conventionally. The plot, to be honest, is intriguing and creative even but the actul turnout feels like a "been there, done that" chore. While "Chernobyl Diaries" does give some scares, but with no character build-up, it creates an environment where no empathy exists, no suspense exists. Basically, you won't care if characters live or die. In the end, "Chernobyl Diaries" is a potential lost and one that could have been vastly better than its current state.

A group of young adults, Chris (Jesse McCartney), his girlfriend Natalie (Olivia Taylor Dudley) and their friend Amanda (Devin Kelley) are traveling across Europe. They stop in Kiev to visit Chris's brother, Paul (Jonathan Sadowski). Paul suggests that instead of going to Moscow, they go on an "extreme tour" of the abandoned town of Prypiat. They are joined by a backpacking couple, Zoe (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and Michael (Nathan Phillips). The group arrives at the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone checkpoint but they are banned by the military to enter but their tour guide, Yuri (Dimitri Diatchenko), takes them through a secret entrance. Everything turns out normal through the whole tour until they are about to leave. Yuri finds the wires in the van have been completely destroyed. The group soon doubt that they are alone. As night falls, noises are heard outside the van and the group is forced to confront who or what are making it.

We must admit, at times, "Chernobyl Diaries" was scary and the premise was interesting. But that's all she wrote. Minus the few and short instances of good cinema, everything else turns out to be a complete mess. First off is the actual development of the film. Loose ends are introduced but never ever resolved. Like what happened to one of the main characters? He just disappeared out of thin air. Did he mutate or are the producers preparing one for a sequel? Why did the tour guide looked worried and set aside something on the floor at one of the abandoned apartments? Another thing, and a big issue, is that the film fails to create compelling characters. It's not the acting really but a sloppy script and story put the nail in the coffin. Never once did we feel we needed to care for anyone in the group. The lack of empathy is shocking and it affects on how suspenseful and thrilling the whole thing is. Rooting for no one kills it and kills it good. We know the flm had a really small budget but honestly, it should have been way better than this - big budget or not.

Rating: 2 reels

Why you should watch it:

- the film has an interesting premise but that's that

- it is scary at times but the old tricks it employs soon become all too familiar and predictable

Why you shouldn't watch it:
-the film fails to make compelling characters that the audience should root for
-a complete mess of a movie even with a very tight budget
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