Directed by: Bradley Parker
Starring: Jonathan Sadowski, Devin Kelley, Jesse McCartney
Rating: Not Yet Rated
Release Date: May 25, 2012
TRAILER SCORE: 4/10
Thoughts by TSR: When are pretty, young people going to learn not to do this kind of thing? Just say no to going off the beaten path in a foreign country! Stop letting a shady local serve as your guide! Or at least don’t go to Chernobyl with him! These aren’t the only things that bother me about Chernobyl Diaries, but I want to highlight a couple positives first. For one thing, even though I don’t understand why they would want to go there in the first place, Chernobyl does feel like it could be an adequately creepy setting for a horror film. I also really liked the moment where the main characters encounter what I believe was a doll – though if it was a creepy child then it’s even better.
Unfortunately, the next thing that happens is one member of the group gets pulled down a flight of stairs, something that has become tired in the wake of Paranormal Activity (the first was directed by Oren Peli, who here came up with the story and serves as producer). That speaks to the larger problem with all this: it just feels so stale. Even though this doesn’t appear to be a found footage film – or at least not entirely – the camera work still feels very similar to what you would find in one. It’s also a bit worrisome that other than the aforementioned doll scene there are no real scary moments. Hopefully that is the marketing team trying to show restraint by saving the best stuff for the film. If not, then Chernobyl Diaries could wind up being just as agonizing as being stuck there yourself.