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.
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
Writer/Producer Oren Peli - who also created Paranormal Activity - strongly defends this movie against claims it was insensitive to a devastating disaster, saying "I found it very sad and fascinating and eerie and creepy... I thought it would be a great setting for a scary horror film. It was never our intention to offend anyone." See more »
The power plant is shown as being located very close to the town of Pripyat and visible in plain sight. In reality there's a distance of roughly 4 kilometers (2,5 miles) to the reactor from the closest buildings that visitors are allowed in. Also, almost everything but the uppermost parts of the buildings and the chimney of the plant is obscured by the vast forest southeast of Pripyat even when viewed from the tallest building in town. See more »
The beginning of Chernobyl Diaries makes us believe it will be another pseudo-documentary film in which the characters tape their own adventures (or dis-adventures). However, a few minutes later, we find out that the film was in fact shot on the conventional way, so there will be no need to worry about the drawbacks we have already found in various films made with that technique. Unfortunately, what will worry us is the lack of a good screenplay, of solid performances, or of a competent direction. The result is 86 unbearable minutes of bad actors screaming, failed attempts to scare us, and an incredibly bland and lazy screenplay.
The characters from Chernobyl Diaries don't wake any interest, in part because they are poorly written, and in part because the actors lack of any credibility and presence in their roles. As a result, the characters are so hateful that I wished them to die as soon as possible. And what is more, the plot from this film is totally uninteresting, and Bradley Parker's direction is atrocious. In short, Chernobyl Diaries is a soporific and deplorable experience. And the least I say about the abrupt and improbable ending, the better.
So, in conclusion, it's needless to say that my recommendation is for you to stay away from this pathetic piece of crap. In order to take the bitter taste out of my mouth, I think I'm going to play again the brilliant level of the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in which the ghost city of Prypiat (where Chernobyl Diaries is set) was reproduced with quite a realism. I think it offers, in 15 minutes, the suspense and excitement Chernobyl Diaries couldn't achieve in 86 minutes.
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