Friday, 16 November 2012

Movie Review - Chernobyl Diaries


I don't really recall seeing the hazard sign there.
   Chernobyl Diaries is a horror movie that I think is suppose to be in the vein of the Blair Witch Project but without the cameraman.  It's not really found footage, but there is a segment of it included.  It has the proper scares that are to be expected especially when night falls. The darkness conceals nearly all of the creature shots and the glimpses are just slices that fuel the terror.

   The movie is has some tourists illegally entering the Chernobyl area. The abandoned housing units are empty but not too messy and backdrop is surprisingly quiet and serene, almost peaceful in its own way. But naturally, as with horror films, things start to go wrong.

   Less is more with this flick.  There's no background music to add to the ambient tension that builds primarily through the characters themselves.  They show flashes of traditional horror stupidity but, of course, if they didn't break the rules in the first place, thy wouldn't be there. Only the older brother really displays a strong personality.  The others are just mildly make their presence known.  The two that join them are almost non-characters.  But that's okay since it's just a countdown as they go one by one.

   I'd say the Chernobyl Diaries is effective enough with their suspense moments.  There's not too much jump scares but the darkness and approaching horrors work in keeping the tension up.  The best part would be the final night as they race underground.  But there's no lasting emotional or deeper context with the nuclear disaster.  It might have just been an abandoned hospital or military facility they were exploring.  

  It's a decent enough suspensefest but some more emotional ties (the proposal wasn't enough) or even cultural, historical or scientific bits (more on the Chernobyl disaster) would make it more memorable.  And what diaries?  No one was taking notes during that time.  

SPOILERS!  Don't read other people's diaries without permission!
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   They should have left in the morning to make to the checkpoint. Really.  It was 20 miles or 20 kilometers.  Take 10minutes per km and they're make it in 3 hours.  If they left in the morning, they could have made it in the afternoon.

   The dogs appearing on the road was just too coincidental.  They could have avoided it.

   Haha. Bear!

   It was creepy when they found themselves in the plant. Would have been nicer to have more radiation damaging building up (falling fingers, perhaps?) but movie time was running out.

   What were the mutants? Cannibals? Crazies?  Would they eat the people or rape them or what?  They're not zombies.  Crazies would have just killed them.

   Their lady friend's body appearing at the plant was strange because it got there way too fast.  Plus they just stumbled upon it?  It probably wasn't needed anyway.  Would have helped to show the effects of what the mutants would do to their victims.  The tour guide was just gutted.  The lady was intact. 

   The little girl standing just there was scary but, as a horror cliche,  it sorta doesn't quite fit with the mutants theme.

  What led to the other lady checking her camera and seeing people in the building?  They were just arguing then suddenly she was looking at her camera.  What was the lead in?

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