I just had a chance to watch Chernobyl Diaries the other day. You know when in one movie, the ghostly spirit says “Get out!” and well, they don’t? You don’t have to get out if you see this movie coming on the tube, but if you do get out and change the channel, you won’t be missing anything.
The cast of expendable actors includes Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Dimitri Diatchenko, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Devin Kelley, Jesse McCartney, Nathan Phillips & Jonathan Sadowski.
It’s directed by Bradely Parker, in his directorial debut. Before this he was the Visual Effects Supervisor for Let Me In & We Own the Night.
The movie is about “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.”
Chernobyl Diaries starts out with the standard character introductions of the group of kids who end up hiring an “extreme” tour guide who is willing to take them on a tour of Pripyat. (You can’t go in Chernobyl, it’s still hot.)
It’s a pretty slow moving start, taking twenty-six minutes of this 86-minute movie before anything even remotely gets going. At the thirty-minute mark, the trauma begins, as they return from a short foot tour to their tour van, to discover that their engine wiring has been chewed up and destroyed. Wha?
They decide to stay put in the van overnight, and then the “brilliant” tour guide, Uri, decides to go look around outside, in the dark. I mean, what could go wrong?
And if you’re going to say something about how predictable this Oren Peli produced movie is sounding, and say, that Uri screams, shoots his gun and disappears, well, you might as well keep predicting, because you’re dead on.
Yes, I said Orn Peli, the man who created the breakout franchise, Paranormal Activity.
At the forty-six minute mark, it has a little bit of tension going on, so that woke me up and the game is afoot! So the snooze-fest ratcheted up a bit. But there was nothing real new about a group of kids venturing into lands they’re not supposed to go. And being frightened or chased down, or disappearing or… oh, sorry, spoiler I guess.
And the ending, well, the ending tried to be shocking, but I was numb by the time I got there and in your head you know it’s going to go one of two ways, and sure enough, it did. Either one was predictable and I nailed it!
So save yourself. It might be one of those movies that when it does come to broadcast television, will probably be an OK time killer… if you’re doing other things to boot.
On the popcorn scale… it didn’t suck horribly (+1), had some character dynamics (+1), was filmed OK (+1), had nice looking actors (+1)…. what’s that, 4? Um, Peli produced it (+1), and I missed it in the theater (+1)…. whoa… maybe I won’t count that last one. So I end up with a popcorn-5 on the Brusimm movie scale.