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    September 4, 2012

    MOVIE REVIEW: CHERNOBYL DIARIES

    Genre: Horror
    Classification: 18
    Release Date: 06 September 2012
    Running Time: 86 minutes
    Distributor: Nusantara Edaran Filem
    Director: Bradley Parker
    Screenplay: -
    Starring: Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski, Devin Kelly, Olivia Taylor Dudley

    Plot Synopsis: Chernobyl Diaries is an original story from Oren Peli, who first terrified audiences with his groundbreaking thriller, Paranormal Activity. The film follows a group of six young vacationers who, looking to go off the beaten path, hire an "extreme" tour guide. Ignoring warnings, he takes them into the city of Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, but a deserted town since the disaster more than 25 years ago. After a brief exploration of the abandoned city, however, the group soon finds themselves stranded, only to discover that they are not alone...


    This horror film, co-written by “Paranormal Activity” creator Oren Peli, is a good cook between the real tragedy behind the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and a basic monster film. Instead of having supernatural as its main theme, Peli writes this into an intriguing monster-fuelled movie by exploring a short 86-minute course of terror on the land of nuclear waste. Adamantly, Chernobyl Diaries benefits so greatly from its unique setting and concept but this film is a stick in the mud, cold plot and a completely wasted potential.

    The story goes like this. Six young vacationers arrive in Kiev for an adventure of their life with plans for the future perfectly in place. They hire a local ‘extreme’ tour guide who promises them a wild and extreme adventure to a place where tragedy once struck. He brings them to Pripyat, an abandoned city outside Kiev, the site of the infamous 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster sits. After a brief exploration around the deserted city, the group soon realizes themselves stranded but they are not alone.

    A clever premise wrapped inside an interesting setting can still goes wrong. That is the point Chernobyl Diaries would like to show, and it angers me that it ends as a garbage product from resourceful materials. The plot is very flawed and no manhole cover is big enough to seal the pretentious plot-holes, found abundantly and incredibly deep. Director Bradley Parker makes this an unsatisfying film experience by building the story up so slow and so hollow that when the climax comes, it feels blizzard and pointless. The horrifying and suspenseful moments are so randomly joint, scattered and pretty much lack of consistency. The movie only portrays a little of this and a little of that, never fully embodies the evil plan these mutants have in their mind.


    There is also not much of bloody and graphic horror mayhem to be expected as most of the events clanged on a thin rope of unsettling nature beyond the unexplained shadows and dark-pitch terror. The character stories been introduced in the first 10 minutes serve no purpose then nor do there give some glimmering hopes to the thin characters. After a short run of intensifying moment which comes too late through the movie, the ending pitches a very familiar twist that borrows heavily from plenty of other horror movies. If acting is not bad enough which are relatively bearable, the usual stuff about people running aimlessly, screaming and flashing torchlight are just too annoying.

    In the end, Chernobyl Diaries is a poor rip-off of The Hills Have Eyes; less bloody and less provocative. With a grand setting and interesting premise, the film fails to provide a satisfying payoff to the slow, directionless plot and real terrifying moments are incredibly short.

    MY RATING:
    Story: 1.5
    Casts: 2.0
    Cinematography: 3.0
    Effects: 3.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 7.3/20.0
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