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Chernobyl Diaries
BLU-RAY disk
10.18.2012 By: Jason Adams
Chernobyl Diaries order download
Director:
Bradley Parker

Actors:
Jesse McCartney
Olivia Dudley
Jonathan Sadowski

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A group of young people go to Chernobyl, site of the famed 1986 nuclear disaster, as part of an “extreme tourism” adventure and discover that radiation isn’t the only danger present.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
At least CHERNOBYL DIARIES isn’t a found footage movie. With PARANORMAL ACTIVITY creator Oren Peli on board as writer and producer I was expecting another self-filmed shaky cam opus, but was pleasantly surprised to find a normal unfolding narrative.

And that’s pretty much the only good thing about the movie.

Long story short, the only scary aspect of CHERNOBYL DIARIES is how boring it manages to be. Things that are supposed to terrify you are unintentionally hilarious, especially one big jump scare involving a CGI bear. But mostly, nothing happens in this movie. People run around, get chased a few times, that’s it. Even the “monsters” are boring; though the movie is still so shaky you never get a really good look at them. The acting is passable (including from former teen heartthrob Jesse McCartney) but the writing, direction and everything else feels amateur and forced.

So much of the movie is illogically dumb and easily avoidable that I thought perhaps it was all a joke. In the end, there would be a big reveal that everything was a prank played by the tour guide. But no, the script and the characters are just that stupid. The group goes out to Chernobyl by themselves, doesn’t tell anybody, and brings a walkie talkie instead of a cell phone. People take off by themselves in to the night without weapons or protection. And instead of walking the fairly reasonable 13 miles back to town when things hit the fan (you know, AWAY from the radioactive mutants), everyone decides to explore Chernobyl instead.

Luckily, the film is short at under 90 minutes. So to sum up, the only good things about CHERNOBYL DIARIES—not found footage and short.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted Scenes (2:40): Two excised clips, including an alternate ending that’s even worse than the original.

Chernobyl Conspiracy Viral Video (2:25): A terrible piece trying to suggest some sort of conspiracy and cover up about the radioactive disaster.

Uri's Extreme Tours Infomercial (1:20): A fake commercial for Uri’s travel agency.

A DVD and UltraViolet digital copy is also included.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
CHERNOBYL DIARIES is so bad I can’t believe it got a theatrical release. Ignoring the fact that it’s incredibly disrespectful to the people still suffering the effects of the real radioactive disaster, there’s just nothing here that’s worth your time or money.

Extra Tidbit: It took three writers to come up with this script. The two besides Oren Peli, Shane Van Dyke and Carey Van Dyke, have both worked for B-movie factory The Asylum. That makes sense.
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