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Chernobyl Diaries (2012)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Bradley Parker

Starring:
Ingrid Bolso Berdal/Zoe
Dimitri Diatchenko/uri
Olivia Dudley/Nathalie
Devin Kelley/Amanda
2 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Some young dumbasses on a European trip decide that braving radiation and the grave to take pictures of decrepit buildings would be the coolest f*cking thing ever! Um... okay... so they hit Chernobyl! Yippee! Then they run here, run there, say “What was that?”, and... you now the rest!
THE LOWDOWN
I chose CHERNOBYL DIARIES over MEN IN BLACK 3 as the movie I should tap this weekend; I chose dead wrong. I should have known something was rotten when the flick wasn't screened for critics (Midnight screening this a-holes!); but hey it was an original horror movie (or so I thought, it's actually a rip-off of an old Wes Craven picture) and I was craving some genuine “found footage” shenanigans and potent frights. I didn't get them. Sigh...

CHERNOBYL DIARIES comes from the mind of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY peddler OREN PELI (he co wrote and produced this one). I gotta say it, am not sure why it took three screenwriters (often Asylum screenwriters Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke backed Peli up at the keyboard) to come up with the most see through and by the numbers chain of events ever. But hey! Maybe there was lot of weed, Twinkies and tequila in the room. Who knows! So first and foremost; CHERNOBYL DIARIES was not a found footage film. Yes it was shot in a faux-documentary style, hand-held for the most part, but NOT a found footage effort. The story was told via a conventional manner. And once I got past its ludicrous premise (I didn't get how ANYBODY would find going to Chernobyl to take pictures of run down buildings while risking radiation i.e. DEATH appealing... am more of a strip club kind of guy); the flick had me. I loved the cinematography (props to DP Morten Soborg), pretty impressive for digital (specially during the night sequences), most of the cast worked, doing what they could with the drivel they were given (Dimitri Diatchenko, Jonathan Sadowskiand, Devin Kelley and Olivia Dudley were my favorites), I got two booya boo scares out of it, some funny lines (mostly from Jonathan Sadowski's character) and the first “mishap” was so random, that it gave me a jolt and chuckles at the same time. Good shite! But once the set up was established, it was downhill from there.

The MORONIC character moves and the random lapses in logic to serve the story kicked in hard, killing my brain cells one by one and switching on the “groan” machine. Moreover; this one's fear-beats were telegraphed and then some! It was as-if the people behind the film didn't even try to do anything novel or out of the mold, they stuck to the rule book so closely that the happenings onscreen came off as STALE. Same thing went in the tension department (first time director Bradley Parker didn't wing it); I didn't feel much of it, if any! Boredom on the other hand! Oh yeah! I got lots of that schtuff! There are just so many times I can witness people running here, then there, then everywhere before I overdose on “filler” This one got me in the ER. Shame on this movie for being so freaking lazy and cheap jack! Maybe the less is less card works in the found footage subgenre but it doesn't gel in a regular offering. It all came off as padding to disguise the fact that little truly happens in this mess. The off-screen kills and the always in the shadows baddies went on to add insult to injury. Works for found footage, but in a movie like this, felt like somebody was pinching pennies.

And was it me or did the quality of Jonathan Sadowski's acting dwindle as the clock ticked forward? I don't really blame the guy to be honest. It felt like they shot this one in sequence, were running out of time/money, so they played the 2 take and move on game. Too bad he aced the first hour of the movie! Oh and NOTE TO FILMMAKERS: If you're gonna have a character propose to his girl, how about you DON'T cast a dude that looks like he's 15 years old (Yup, I speak of Malcolm in the Middle knock off Jesse McCartney). Kind of nixes the credibility factor there. END OF NOTE. Lastly; yeah there were fights and people did get injured... why didn't they SHOW IT!!!!??? Shaking the camera real fast is a poor substitute for a well choreographed tussle or healthy gore. Pathetic... So, all in all CHERNOBYL DIARIES started off on the right stab (after I decided to go along with the idiotic premise), but once the clip was slammed in, this twat shot blanks and showed off its true CASH GRAB colors. Thieves! I want my money back!
GORE
A mangled leg, some light blood and a gun shot wound, that's it. You'll find more blood on your grandma’s tampon.
T & A
Nice cleavage on Olivia Dudley, primo stuff! That's all she wrote!
BOTTOM LINE
When I came out of the theater it was 1 .5 on 4, but the more I thought about it, the more mad I got. I freaking got jipped! Yup CHERNOBYL DIARIES was an insult to my grey matter and wallet! It reeked of f*ck quality, "lets do it cheap", slum it, toss in the cliches, promote it right and cash in! It so tried to have its shaved twat and eat it too! It acted like a found footage movie with the "folks running" padding and the "shake the camera" fast instead of showing gore/fights; but... IT WASN'T A FOUND FOOTAGE MOVIE! So the f*ck you doing man?!!! The result was a product that came off as a SHAM, a joke and my money was the punchline. The fact that it was unoriginal, routine, dumb as Hilton, not scary with all kinds of lapses in logic didn't help either. There was maybe 20 minutes of a good movie in here and the rest made sure to spit on that and on me! I hope it tanks! TANK YA F*CK! Then maybe the countless SOLID horror scripts that are floating around Hollywood will get their chance! Watch THE RUINS in the comfort of your own homes instead!
BULL'S EYE
Bradley Parker comes from a visual effects background.

Shane Van Dyke also wrote Titanic II (2010), Paranormal Entity (2009) and Transmorphers: Fall of Man (2009).

Ingrid Bolso Berdal also stars in the yet to be released Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
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11:01PM on 05/28/2012
I paid to see this movie. Worst mistake of my life. I'd give anything for that five bucks and 88 minutes back.
I paid to see this movie. Worst mistake of my life. I'd give anything for that five bucks and 88 minutes back.
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4:30PM on 05/27/2012
Thanks for saving me the money and the time... I was only so-so looking forward to this and your review tipped me in the right direction. I am curious though... what Wes Craven film did this rip off (may be a dumb question...).
Thanks for saving me the money and the time... I was only so-so looking forward to this and your review tipped me in the right direction. I am curious though... what Wes Craven film did this rip off (may be a dumb question...).
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