Lazy Movie Review: Chernobyl Diaries

Premise:  A group of Americans go urban exploring in Europe to an abandoned town next to the titular power plant that had a meltdown.  Spoiler alert: it’s full of mutants.

 

Pros:

-The opening scene was shot in found footage style, and I audibly groaned because I didn’t think I’d be watching another god damn shaky, lazy movie.  But “luckily” it turned into a regular movie.  I use the quotes because it was still shot in an awful, shaky, lazy way despite not being found footage.  But still, at least it wasn’t found footage.

-To be honest, I like the concept of this movie.  It’s an interesting setting for a horror film.  Sometimes I’ll look at pictures of abandoned buildings / hospitals / prisons for hours at a time because I find it interesting.  Don’t judge me!

-OK, I wasn’t expecting there to be a bear in this.  There should be random bears in more things.

-Track suits!

 

Cons:

-One of those movies that embraces the stereotype that Americans are complete assholes when traveling abroad.

-The main characters all have extremely punchable faces.  I can’t stress enough how much I hated the “cool guy” character.  I hate both the character and the actor.  And yes, I’m aware ‘hate’ is a strong word.

-A lot of the dialogue is frustratingly lame, despite it’s best attempts.

-The entire film is lacking any semblance of suspense.  It relies solely on predictable jump scares.

-I don’t see what makes this a diary…?  If anything, all records of the events occurring in the film get swept clean.  They don’t leave a trace.  That’s kind of the opposite of a diary…

-A guy gets attacked in the leg.  He lives through it.  He gets brought back to the group, and he is fully awake.  When they ask him what happened, he says ‘There’s crazy stuff out there, man!”  And then doesn’t elaborate…  And no one asks him a follow up question.

-Can these people be any louder?  No wonder it was easy for the mutants to keep finding them.  They’ll be sneaking around for 5 minutes, then the main dickbag will start yelling “CHRIS?  CHRIIIIIIIIS?” at the top of his lungs.

-One of the most visually unappealing color pallets of any film released this year.

-There comes a point about an hour in the movie, when you realize there’s still thirty minutes left, and you kind of hate your life a little bit.  But like any test of strength, you just fight through it because you’ve already made it this far.

-Ultimately the film makes the bold statement that all people affected with radiation poisoning become vicious murderers.  I’m pretty sure this is factually correct.

-It’s basically The Hills Have Eyes, but set in Europe.

 

Final Thoughts: Chernobyl Diaries ask the difficult question: “If six underdeveloped movie characters die in an abandoned town, does anybody care?”

3 out of 10

 

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