Friday, July 5, 2013

Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

Probably not in the majority here, but I liked this movie.   Kind of like The Descent for the backpacking set. *SPOILERS AHEAD!*

Chris, Natalie, and Amanda are traveling across Europe, ending up in Kiev, Ukraine to visit Chris's brother, Paul.  The plan is to then continue onto Moscow, but Paul has a more exciting idea.  Why don't they go on an "extreme tourism" trip to the abandoned city outside of Chernobyl?  I'm fairly adventurous, but this is something I would never go for.  They meet up with their tour guide Uri, and a couple of other travelers, Michael and Zoe.

They all pile into this weird military van and head off to Pripyat, the town that was abandoned after the disaster.  They encounter a checkpoint, where the guards do not allow them to enter the area. Luckily, Uri knows another secret entrance to the area.  The group walks around, taking photos with the famous Pripyat amusement park, and viewing the power plant from the balcony of an apartment building.  The scenery in this part was really well done, and came across as very chilling.

After dodging a bear (?!?!), they make their way back to the van, only to find out that the starter has been damaged. It's at this part that we start experiencing some of the classic horror movie stupidity.  Scream King tells me that even with the lines to the starter cut, they could still manually start the car.  And instead of just walking the fuck out of there, they spend an inordinate amount of time investigating noises, inspecting an abandoned bus, and searching for wires to fix the starter, instead of just. fucking. walking.  Or running, I don't care.  Just move your stupid asses.

As the group tries to make their way out of the area, it becomes apparent that they are not alone in Pripyat.  Not only are there animals, but other "creatures" lurk in the ruins.  Who will make it out alive, if anyone?

Stupid people aside, I liked the pace and scares of this movie.  The radiation element added another silent killer, although I believe that the "mutants" could have been improved on.  This may have been a budget constraint, but they really were never shown up close.  Overall, I think this was a cool concept for a horror movie, and I enjoyed it overall.