The Chernobyl disaster happened back in 1986 and conspiracy theories surrounding the incident and the aftermath have been rife ever since. The surprising part about this is why a film such as this has never been made before.
Chernobyl Diaries follows a group of travellers as they venture into the land of extreme tourism, heading to the city abandoned and devastated by the disaster. Written by Oren Peli, who terrified most of the world with Paranormal Activity, you can’t help but feel a little let down by this film as it try’s to recreate what happened with the first Paranormal Activity film, but in the process becomes a typical mass of clichés.
The concept of the film is both original and intriguing, but given that most people have now heard of the disaster, the problem is you build it up too much and get left a little deflated. A bit of a slow starter at first, the film doesn’t start to get interesting until halfway through when people start to die. In fact you start wanting to see the characters die, which is never a good thing.
The acting in the film overall is pretty hammy, but the actors do hold their own and they aren’t the worst performances I’ve ever seen in a film, but it could have been better. The directing is also good, especially parts where you see a glimmer of something happening in the background, which does excite you about what may happen soon.
The film is tense in parts and like Paranormal Activity, you will be hiding your face from parts, only to discover that nothing actually happens and it’s the suspense that has been scaring you. This is one thing this film is quite good at (as is Oren Peli in general_.
The extras on the DVD are quite good, and in my opinion I would have been a little happier with the film if the alternative ending had been used, as it just makes more sense in the grand scheme of the film.
Overall Verdict: The film does have tense parts and makes your heart race a little, but it looks as though they have tried too hard to make a huge scare fest out of the disaster, which ultimately doesn’t entirely grip you. In other words it’s ok but they could have done a lot more with the material they had to work with.
Reviewer: Lewis Shepherd