CHERNOBYL DIARIES (BLU-RAY)
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Ingrid Bolso Berdal
What's it about
Some stupid tourists hire a weird tour guide who's willing to chart them through Pripyat, where people suffered during the failure of the Chernobyl reactor. Monsters eat them.
Is it good movie?
All I heard about this flick is that it's really bad. Honestly, I
haven't heard anything other than that since it came out. I mean, it
came from Oren Peli, the brainchild behind the Paranormal Activity
movies (but was directed by Brad Parker)..so it must have something
going for it, right?
Well, all the buzz you've heard about this film is true. It sucks out
Stupid kids decide while on vacation in Europe to do some "Extreme
Tourism", like that's really a thing. It's nothing but an excuse to get
our foolish leads to a scary location where they can be eaten
appropriately and taken out one by one.
The whole thing almost feels like a farce, a sort of parody send-up of
the genre in general. It does have an admittedly cool opening sequence
that uses the whole "found footage" gimmick, but it seems pretty clear
that Peli is braving a whole new direction. Problem is, it's a new
direction for him but a very familiar one for anyone who's seen a
horror film in the last ten years or so. And really, it's not a big
departure because although the flick doesn't claim to be found footage,
it's still shot in a very similar way.
The movie doesn't really have much story beyond what you know already.
The dialogue tends to really rivet- it consists usually of a character
shouting, wondering where another character has gone, yelling their
name over and over again. Fun!
The characters are so thinly plotted, it's ridiculous.They try to give
them a little backstory at the beginning, but it just doesn't stick.
They range from acceptable (Amanda, played by Devin Kelly at least
shows a bit of intelligence and courage) to outright head-smackingly
stupid (Jesse McCartney's Chris is way over the top and awkward, while
Jon Sadowski's Paul flat out gets people killed). Once the movie gets
to the midway point, two new bodies show up to get taken down by the
monsters, with very little explanation as to why.
The camera shakes like the earth is quaking, and that gets old fast.
Almost all of the scary bits of this one take place completely
off-screen, which can lead to some brutal unintentional comedy.
If you love convenient, tired clichés, watered down boo-scares and
monster creatures that you barely ever see, Chernobyl Diaries is for
you. Everyone else should avoid.
Video / Audio
Video comes in 1:85:1 widescreen, and quite
honestly looks pretty darn good. The colors pop appropriately, and when
the movie gets dark, the picture responds in kind. Good detail level
Audio is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, and is
well balanced and expertly mixed. Really impressive track here.
First up is a really useless alternate
ending that runs about 2 minutes.
Next is Uri's Extreme Tour informercial,
which is about a minute long and pretty self-explanatory.
The Chernobyl Conspiracy Viral Video
is a 2 minute clip that takes a sort of "Hard Copy" hard-hitting expose
sort of approach to what really happened in Chernobyl.
Finally, there's a 1 minute deleted
The Chernobyl Diaries is best summed up as a horror movie for teenagers
who don't ever watch horror movies, and even then it's a little iffy.
It is watchable, but predictable and lame at the same time. I most
certainly do not recommend it.