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Americans Chris, his girlfriend Natalie and their friend Amanda travel to Europe on vacation. They meet up with Chris' brother Paul living in Kiev, Ukraine. Chris wants to travel to Moscow to propose to Natalie, but Paul convinces the group to first visit Chernobyl with an extreme tourism guide. They meet the guide Uri and another couple who are also going on the tour. Uri explains that because of the radiation levels he can only take them to Pripyat, a deserted city very near Chernobyl. They travel by van, but are stopped by a military checkpoint that makes them turn back. Not giving up, Uri finds an alternative route to the town. The group spends the day taking photographs and exploring abandoned buildings. Uri becomes nervous and decides it's time to head home. However, the van won't start and they discover the engine was sabotaged. Soon they discover that they are stranded, no one knows they are there and that they are definitely not alone. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Another horror movie has donned upon us this holiday weekend and it is called the Chernobyl Diaries. The first trailer I saw for this movie about a month and half ago showed some potential for a true horror fest. However, I'll tell you now that this was not the case, and instead the movie I saw today was nothing more than a hastily produced horror movie that was rather lame. I know it's disappointing, but the truth is Chernobyl diaries like most horror movies are losing their edge. Read on to find out more about this movie.
For those of you who haven't seen the trailers for this movie, Chernobyl diaries is about a group of seven college kids taking a trip to the Chernobyl reactors. What starts out as a peaceful trip full of picture taking and jokes soon takes a turn for the worst. It seems that Chernobyl is not as abandoned as they think and soon the nightmare within decides to hunt the kids through the destroyed city.
Sound familiar? It should since this is the story for a plethora of horror movie it's just taking place at a new location. So what suckered me into seeing it? Aside from being assigned this movie, I admit the traps seen in the trailer held potential for a decent and entertaining horror flick. Unfortunately the trailers are once again misleading as Chernobyl Diaries fails to live up to the publicized suspense. Instead the movie is essentially a nonstop cascade of scenes and sequences of the incredibly shallow characters running around from some unseen threat. The camera work of the movie is chaotic, Blair Witch and Cloverfield style that is unsteady and jumpy, which took away from the detail. I think they mainly did this to help keep the monsters true from in the dark and allow the audience's imagination to fill into the details. While the attempt is worthy of recognition, Parker dropped the ball on the delivery making it too fast and shallow. Although the fast pace got us to the ending faster, it still made the movie boring as the story progressed.
One thought I had after watching this film was maybe Parker was planning on the movie being humorous, like the Cabin in The Woods. Unfortunately the comedy aspect of this film was lost on me as well. The stupidity of the college kids and the predictable path they take only made me laugh at how pathetic they were. Unfortunately the dialog was unable to humor me as well and mainly consisted of the kids saying "Oh my God!" or dropping an F bomb, further adding to the disappointment. This dialog combined with the shallow characters also meant the acting didn't have to be that good as well. Although the actors played the college kid roll well, the acting was nothing extraordinary and isn't enough to convince me to suggest this movie. As for the ending of the film, well to put it nicely it stunk. Once again I was left with questions and a bit cheated out of my money. While I feel some will like the ending or find it funny, I can't say I enjoyed it all.
Were there any positives to this movie? For me there were only some minor positives I could find. Although I normally don't like the ashy grey and desolate camera colors, I felt for this movie they were needed. This camera filter brought the desolate and hopeless city to life, which added some emotional chill to the film. A few of the shots also managed to capture the isolation and terror they wanted, though they were few and far in between. Despite the simple acting, the actresses in the movie were very nice to look at and was the only thing really keeping me in the movie. Finally the short time limit of the movie was for once a good thing as I got out of this movie faster than I expected.
To sum up this movie, it's one best left to the Redbox. Although I applaud their use of letting the imagination paint the horror, the delivery still failed to impress me. Again there are no characters to latch on to in this film, and unless you just want to see lots of shadows and hear countless cursing, you will want to avoid this. My scores below are the following:
Horror: 3.0-3.5 Movie Overall: 2.5
So check back soon my friends and again keep on enjoying the movies. Or at least try to.
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