Search

Review: Chernobyl Diaries

PUBLISHED: 09:14 02 July 2012

Chernobyl Diaries

Chernobyl Diaries

©2012 Oxford Tours, LLC

The title suggests an earnest documentary that might get the briefest of cinema outings prior to a screening on More4. The idea that someone would use the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster as the setting for a rehash of The Hills Have Eyes is the only shocking thing about this horror film.

Still, horror stories in and about the Ukraine are popular at the moment and deserted Soviet housing blocks and nuclear facilities are great locations to chase terrified teenagers through.

This particular group of horror fodder is headed by American Paul (Jonathan Sadowski) who has the smug assurance of a man performing a prank in a Pepsi Max advert. When his brother and two friends come to visit him in Kiev, he decides to ditch the trip to Moscow for a bit of extreme tourism; an outing to the fortified, quarantined city that was hastily abandoned and left deserted after the disaster, led by their guide Uri. Except, of course, something has survived.

In most horror films the lull, the initial establishing period of normality, is a formality that you are required to get through before the thrills start, but it is this film’s most endearing feature.

The scenes of them walking through the empty apartment blocks are eerily intriguing. It’s oddly reminiscent of high- brow Russian sci-fi plod Stalker, though Tarkovsky would never have accepted lines like: “Chernobyl, isn’t that where the nuclear disaster happened?” or made a film with “diaries” in the title that didn’t contain any diary or any documenting of events.

It isn’t a found-footage horror though many of the shots are framed as if it was. It’s not a terrible horror film – there’s some very competent flashlight in dark tunnels shots – but it is uninspired one offering second-hand thrills that worked much better in films like [Rec.]

Though he didn’t direct, the film is being marketed as A Film By Oren Peli, the man behind Paranormal Activity, the home movie shot for next to nothing that spawned a franchise and is arguably the most profitable film of all time. He wrote and produced this and there is something rather touching about his devotion to low-budget horror film-making. He’s like the lottery winner who refuses to let the money change his life in any way.

CHERNOBYL DIARIES (15)

Director: Bradley Parker

Starring: Jonathan Sadowski, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Jesse McCartney and Nathan Phillips

Length: 88 mins

**

0 comments

Other Thetford and Brandon events

Friday, March 24, 2017

Let your mum put her feet up and have a well earned rest for a special treat this Mothering Sunday. We have some great places to take her and ways to spoil her.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sir Cliff Richard is to return to the region this summer on his Just Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll tour.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ryder Cup stars Chris Wood and Andy Sullivan will represent England at the inaugural GolfSixes European Tour tournament near St Albans this May.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Oklahoma was a game-changer. Christian Jenner, director of a new production at Bury Theatre Royal, talks about the appeal of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic.

Most Read

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 11°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Thetford and Brandon e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter