Duration: 86 min.
Rating stars: 5.2 out of 10 stars.
Released date: 24 May 2012 (USA).
Director: Bradley Parker.
Written by : Oren Peli, Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke, Martin Solibakke.
A Tour Guide is hired by six tourists who takes them to Pripyat City the home of Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor workers but during that they discover they are not alone.
A horror movie where a group of young vacationers Chris (McCartney), Natalie (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Amanda (Devin Kelley) and Paul (Sadowski) sign-up for an “extreme tourism” adventure to Pripyat, a Ukrainian city that was built to house Chernobyl nuclear power plant employees (also featured in the first act of Transformers: Dark of the Moon). Long abandoned, following the catastrophic nuclear accident at Chernobyl, They are joined by a backpacking couple, Norwegian Zoe (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and Australian Michael (Nathan Phillips).
The group arrives at the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone checkpoint, in which they are banned by the Ukrainian military but their tour guide, Yuri (Dimitri Diatchenko), takes them in through an unmanned, forested checkpoint, entering the Zone.
As the group prepares to leave, Yuri finds the wires in his van have been chewed through and tries to radio for help to no avail, The group is thrust into a life-or-death struggle for survival against wild animals and a mysterious presence that moves among the irradiated ruins.
The early moments of the film (establishing the various character dynamics) are pretty stilted (as are the performances throughout) but once the group arrives at Pripyat, it’s easy to get engrossed in the setting – as the abandoned city (which was actually shot on location) offers a creepy but extremely fascinating backdrop for the on-screen drama.
Chernobyl Diaries again demonstrates Oren Peli’s ability to wrest scares with minimal production values and a clever premise. The wunderkind behind Paranormal Activity came up with the story for this effort, which he also produced and co-scripted. While unlikely to match that franchise’s unworldly success—barring a “Fukushima Diaries,” there seems little prospect for a sequel—this low-budget horror film provides a reasonable quotient of scares.
Reviewed by: Riham Adel