Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chernobyl Diaries

Title: Chernobyl Diaries
Director: Bradley Parker
Writer: Oren Peli, Carey Van Dyke, and Shane Van Dyke
Starring: Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski and Olivia Dudley
Grade: 78% or C+

My Thoughts::
I saw this movie not really knowing what to expect. I knew the basic plot and that it was supposed to be scary, but I didn't know how. Was it zombies? Ghosts? Something else really creepy? Plus it was made by the same guy who does the Paranormal Activity movies, and I don't really like those at all. So I went in with very low expectations.

The movie was better than I thought it would be. We're able to figure out the dynamic of the group of friends pretty quickly. Knowing this dynamic, especially the one between the brothers, makes this movie more intense. What my friends and I loved was that you weren't quite sure who was going to die and when. In pretty much all scary movies with deaths, it is easy to pick out who is going to die, when, and who will be the last person standing. But with this movie we couldn't do it. Most of our guesses were wrong, or we were tricked into being right.

Instead of just things popping out at us to make us freak out, we were scared in other ways. There is the whole lingering question of what is out there and how it got there. And of course the underlying FREAKING RADIATION THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT AFTER 45 MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE. They were nervous about visiting and then they're cool with spending the night? Even before they knew about the killing things, you would think they would want out of there as soon as possible.

I have complaints, and really felt totally meh about the movie until the very end. Oh wow. Did not see that coming. So I think I liked it well enough.


Randi M said...

I liked it, but I thought too much of the movie was spent doing build-up rather than actually being scary. I felt like 2/3 of the movie was build-up/scene-setting. It was good, though. But I probably won't watch it again!

James Aach said...

I've mostly read bad reviews of this film - yours in one of the few postive ones I've seen.

FYI: If you would like an easy-to-read look at the real Chernobyl tragedy (who wouldn't?), there are a few chapters in my novel "Rad Decision" which tell the story in a way that allows a lay person to folllow along and understand what the real problems were. The book is free online (no advertisements or sponsors) at, with the Chernobyl section linked at the homepage. I work in the US nuclear industry, which I suppose gives me some credibility for explaining this.