Chernobyl Diaries (2 stars)

Chernobyl Diaries

Hostel-style tourist trip horror that’s lacking in suspense

From Oren Peli, producer of the Paranormal Activity series, comes yet another entry in the tourist trap cycle spawned by Eli Roth’s considerably superior Hostel. In Chernobyl Diaries, a group of US tourists find themselves engaged in bloody conflict on the site of a recent real-life tragedy, giving this less-than-nuclear genre entry a distasteful edge.

After a dull montage of Euro-vacation home movies, scored to 'It’s Alright' by Supergrass, it seems understandable that Chris (Jesse McCartney) and his fellow teenage friends might seek out a more extreme experience while visiting Kiev. They hire an unreliable guide called Uri (Dimitri Diatchenko) to take them to the Ukrainian town of Pripyat, evacuated since the nuclear reactor meltdown. Unfortunately for them, the radioactive inhabitants of the town are still pretty active, and long stretches of screaming and fumbling in the dark lie ahead.

The early stages of Chernobyl Diaries promise some tension, with Diatchenko an engaging, enigmatic focus, but visual effect supervisor-turned first time director Bradley Parker quickly runs out of creative ideas, making this disaster-tourism trip well worth avoiding.

General release from Fri 22 Jun.

Chernobyl Diaries Trailer

Chernobyl Diaries

  • 2 stars
  • 2012
  • US
  • 1h 27min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Bradley Parker
  • Written by: Shane Van Dyke, Carey Van Dyke
  • Cast: Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski, Olivia Dudley
  • UK release: 22 June 2012

Chris (McCartney) and his friends seek 'extreme tourism', so they hire unreliable Uri (Diatchenko) to take them to Pripyat, abandoned since the Chernobyl disaster: cue radioactive mutant attack. It lacks both suspense and good ideas, and setting a horror flick on the site of a real-life tragedy has a distasteful edge.

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