Reel Reviews | Chernobyl Diaries

by Tim Gordon

Six tourists hire an extreme tour guide who takes them to the abandoned city Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. During their exploration, they soon discover they are not alone in the tense horror-thriller, Chernobyl Diaries.

Former visual effects supervisor Bradley Parker makes his directorial debut with the well-worn story of a group of young kids on an adventure who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time in this surprisingly well-made thriller.

On vacation to see his brother in Europe, a young couple in love and her friend, stop by to spend time with his brother. He convinces them that instead of the exploring the usual attractions they should think outside of the box and proposes a radical idea: a tour of the town of Pripyat – right next to the site of the famous Chernobyl nuclear disaster. They say you should always follow your first instinct but that’s not an option in horror films because . . . . their horror films. Their tour guide is a former Soviet soldier by the name of Uri who promises them that despite being warned to stay away and finding a side entrance, that they will be safe. Well of course they’re not and soon they encounter all types of “fallout” from visiting the forbidden site.

This film was co-written by Paranormal Activity creater Oren Peli and to his and Parker’s credit, the story radiates with thick palpable tension as the Bad Judgment crew is picked off one by one in very creative and inspired ways. While I’m not a fan of most horror films, this film based on “The Diary of Lawson Oxford” will definitely entertain those with a fetish for blood and gore!

Grade: B