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Review: Chernobyl Diaries

June 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 196

The average person who goes on vacation, goes to either relax, to have fun or to see things like monuments, ancient artifacts or something similar that they've never seen before. In the movie Chernobyl Diaries, these vacationers are trying something different. These geniuses go out of their way to visit a secluded and contaminated place called Chernobyl.

When Paul (Jonathan Sadowski) gets a visit from his brother Chris (Jesse McCartney), his brother's fiancée Natalie (Olivia Taylor Dudley) and there recently single friend Amanda (Devin Kelley), they decide to go on a tour in Chernobyl. While preparing for their trip, they run into another couple who are also going to Chernobyl for the same reasons. It's all fun and games at first, but when unnatural things begin to occur on this allegedly vacant land, this group of people might find themselves having an experience that they'll never forget.... if they make it out alive.

For those of you who don't know, Chernobyl experienced a disastrous nuclear accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant back in 1986. An explosion occurred and lead to radioactive contamination that eventually spread to much of the western parts of the Soviet Union and some of Europe. Many people died, but thousands more were affected by this catastrophe concerning radioactive waste. This area is virtually unlivable, is almost completely empty now and still has some issues with radioactive contamination. That sounds like a place that you might want go visit in order have fun right? Right? Me neither.

Chernobyl Diaries kicks off with the normal scenes that you've seen in plenty of other scary movies. A group of people are hanging and having a good time with one another. Then after a while, they finally set off on the trip that lands them in Chernobyl. This part of the film is well done. There's a quiet tension that hovers over these scenes in Chernobyl and that's because we all know something is about to go down. It's like "the calm before the storm" I guess you can say and that's a good thing. There is one problem though. The storm never actually comes, and that's a bad thing.

It would be like hearing about a category five hurricane that's supposed to be coming your way. It's on the news, you see the dark clouds overhead and you may even begin to hear the wind and feel some of its power. Then after getting worried, you prepare for this monstrous storm and do your best to get your family and everything else in order. You're rushing just like everyone else and you finally get home only to discover that all you're going to get is drizzle. That's Chernobyl Diaries in a nutshell.

These early scenes when the gang arrive in Chernobyl are easily the best parts of the movie. Everything after that hits a wall, never lives up to expectations and doesn't really do anything. There honestly aren't too many scares to be witnessed in Chernobyl Diaries and a substantial amount of the violence is rather tame and pedestrian. As a matter of fact, the movie overall is quite subdued. I wasn't surprised at the lack of scares, because I'm used to horror films coming up short in that department. This news shouldn't come as a shock to anyone else really. How many horror films are actually any good anyway? What did kind of shock me a little bit was how predictable and conventional it was. For whatever reason, I was thinking that they might show us something new, but they didn't.

If you're a fan of horror films, you can point out some of the things in this movie that you'll recognize in several other movies from this genre. For example, you see our stars doing a number of stupid things and making bad decision after bad decision. The stupidity caught me off guard more than anything and that's because these people are excessively stupid. I don't think I've ever seen characters in movies be this dumb before. There are things that I won't say about the lack of intelligence that's put on display by the youngsters caught in Chernobyl, because I'd have to point out specific scenes in order to do that and I don't want to spoil it for you would be movie goers.

I also want to take this time to look at the evil doers in the movie. Talk about disappointing. Once again, I don't want to give up too much, so I won't get to deep into it. I will acknowledge that I think the villains in Chernobyl Diaries are more disappointing than the ones in Battleship. The bad guys that these guys are trying to fight off are worse than their Battleship counterparts, but it's more about the way they were presented than the actual villains themselves. They didn't give these guys enough screen time and I can say with one hundred percent certainty, that we didn't see all that they were capable of.

I'll be honest and say that I won't remember Chernobyl Diaries for too much longer. It's just one of those movies that just shows up and is gone from your memory in about the same amount of time that it takes to watch it. Until that day comes (tomorrow) when I do forget, I'll remember this scary movie for what it is, what it isn't and what it could have been. I thought these dudes had a legitimate chance to make this into something more dangerous, more vicious and at the very least, scary. Instead, I got a basic watered down horror film that can barely be considered horror.

Score: 2/5

Rating: R

Director: Bradley Parker

Cast: Jonathan Sadowski Devin Kelley Jesse McCartney Olivia Taylor Dudley Nathan Phillips Dimitri Diatchenko Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

Film Length: 86 minutes

Release Date: May 25, 2012

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

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Source: EzineArticles
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