“Chernobyl Diaries” is a new horror movie that attempts new tricks with a hackneyed idea. It takes a basic plot from “The Hills Have Eyes” and makes it less of a gore movie and more of a creeping-terror movie. There were aspects of this movie that seemed to work to its advantage and others that hindered it.
To begin, a group of young adults are visiting Russia when they decide to do some “extreme tourism.” This form of extreme tourism includes going to the ghost town of Pripyat, the town that housed many of the workers of the Chernobyl disaster. After seeing some of the sights, they find their van has been sabotaged. The group now has to spend the night in Pripyat. They soon find out, they are not alone. Can they survive the mutant cannibals and the extreme radiation levels?
The acting is not bad. The script does not give the actors a lot to work with though. The dialogue is somewhat predictable and tongue in cheek. Always going back to get people who are most likely dead and running towards gunshots, are the biggest examples of the sort of cinematic foolishness that seems to come up. There is also the oddity that folks seem to be willing to face hordes of cannibal mutants over their dogs.
The setting looks like Pripyat. It’s eerie, quiet, and a perfect place for a horror movie setting. It worked well that they decided to keep the mutants hidden in the dark. You get an idea of what monstrosities they were facing but you never see them face to face. It did well in that respect. The ending was weak and like something out of “Night of the Living Dead” or “Cabin Fever.”
As a whole, “Chernobyl Diaries” is probably a better rental. There is a lot that make this movie run-of-the-mill. This movie is enjoyable at times and the characters are not bad actors, despite the lackluster script; you will at least be entertained. At least this one succeeds in being creepy in it’s style, so it’s certainly not the worst thing in theaters now.