'Chernobyl Diaries' Critic Reviews
It almost seems like some producer saw a found footage movie and copied it, but he didn't really get it. Only the producer in this case is Oren 'Paranormal Activity' Peli himself!
A run-of-the-mill low-budget flick focused on killing off stupid, pretty young things slowly enough to fill out 90 minutes.
It's appropriate that the young cast spends a good deal of time running in circles -- it's a metaphor for first-time director Brad Parker's repetitive, colorless action.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Common Sense Media
Nearly every scary moment is either right out of the horror textbook, or else it subverts logic for an easy shortcut.
In keeping with some of the better Wrong Turn chillers of recent vintage, the dimwit wayfarers in 'Chernobyl Diaries' break every rule known to horrordom and are, therefore, ripe for catastrophe. Goody, goody.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo
If this horror movie cashes in on the audience that echoes its character's awareness ("That's where the nucular thing happened, right?") then we're about to learn how low our national academic standards are.
It's The Hills Have Eyes meets The Blair Witch Project, a flashlight tour through a stupid urban legend, with the unseemly authenticity only real devastation can provide.
Yes, this is another movie where suspense is shuttled aside for actors yelling at the top of their lungs and many meaningless things going much more than 'bump' in the Ukrainian night.
While filing out of my screening, I overheard the kid next to me turn to his friends and say "Eh. . .I've seen worse" and not counting the last 10 minutes here, so have you.
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
This is not a terrible film yet it isn't necessarily good.
With the faux-verite aesthetics of [Rec], the American-tourists-in-Eastern-European-hell setup of Hostel, and the brain of a mushy radioactive mutant zombie thingie, Chernobyl Diaries is little more than decomposed horror leftovers.
Chernobyl Diaries is still full of things to like. The characters are fully three-dimensional, the dialogue is believable and most of the action stems from logical circumstances.
First-time director Bradley Parker (working from a script co-written by Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli) understands that suggesting is scarier than showing, and confusion generates more suspense than explanations do.
The characters lack basic common sense and the script takes itself way too seriously.
You can't help but be sucked into the story, even when you pretty much know, beat for beat, where it's going.
You get the sleazy fatalism you pay for, albeit with production values and scare tactics more atmospheric, restrained and artistic than you might expect.
Pete Vonder Haar
Mutants? Near Chernobyl? You don't say.
This is a standard-issue slasher movie without much slashing, substituting the Chernobyl-workers' ghost town of Pripyat for the likes of Friday the 13th's Camp Crystal Lake.
The so-so "Chernobyl Diaries" feels like the sort of horror movie that "Paranormal Activity" was meant to replace.
...the location is where Peli's inspiration started and stopped.
The silly, shallow people in Chernobyl are so spectacularly stupid and keep doing such massively moronic things that you start actively cheering for their deaths.
Earns points on restraint, mood, and something that real estate agents know all about: location, location, location.
Chernobyl Diaries is a great movie to rent and watch for 85 minutes and then eject the disk before the ending truly ruins it.
Watching the protagonists fall one by one, it becomes clear that this isn't a cautionary example: it's sweet Darwinism in action.