Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

logoDirector: Bradley Parker

Writer: Oren Peli, Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke (Screenplay) Oren Peli (Story)

Starring: Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Dimitri Diatchenko, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Devin Kelley, Jesse McCartney, Nathan Phillips, Jonathan Sadowski


Story: Two different groups of friends, one being, Paul (Sadowski) Chris (McCartney) Natalie (Dudley), Amanda (Kelley) and couple Michael (Phillips), Zoe (Berdal). Get a chance to go on an extreme tour of a Chernobyl town where the workers lived. All is going well until they get stuck there and night falls, when they learn they are not alone.


Verdict:  A horror that wants to be a found footage with a normal camera that shakes too much.

Story: I have to hand it to the writers the story on paper is a good idea. However the characters in the film are all act very stupid and takes what could be a good idea and thrown it away. The good idea is so poorly executed here with poor build up, no real explanation to what is going on and cheap scares. (5/10)


Actor Review: Ingrid Bolso Berdal – One half of the couple who does nothing to help anyone, apart from scream too much. Poor, over the top screaming reaction through the whole film. (4/10)

Actor Review: Olivia Taylor Dudley – Long term girlfriend who is enjoying the tour of Europe supporting her friend. Didn’t have much time to do much in the Chernobyl scenes as the group spend most the time looking for her. Unlucky Character Award (4/10)


Actor Review: Devin Kelley – The only character who really has anything to do and does a good job fighting and hiding from the creatures. Strong performance in a film filled with plain performances. Babe Watch Award (7/10)


Actor Review: Jesse McCartney – The long term boyfriend of Natalie who spends just as much time screaming at his brother than he does do anything useful. Poor again adds nothing but another person to look for in the dark. (4/10)

Actor Review: Nathan Phillips – Partner of Zoe this tough Aussie that will turn out to be the smartest character in the film. Good performance as he is the only one who shows a real level of fear as well as being level headed. Favourite Character Award (7/10)

Actor Review: Jonathan Sadowski – The brother who takes his brother and friends to the dangerous place. He is the only character who knows the local language and doesn’t bother using it dealing with strangers. Another poor performance. (4/10)

Director Review:  Bradley Parker – This directorial debut may turn out to be his last as he just doesn’t know where he wants to point the camera half the time, by trying to play they is something in the back ground card. (4/10)


Horror: The first couple of build-up jumps are good and look promising, the rest don’t. (3/10)

Thriller: Suspenseful to start fast forwarded too much too quick too early ruins the build. (2/10)

Believability: The extreme tourism is real but after that no not at all (1/10)

Chances Of Tears: only because you have watched it. (0/10)

Settings: It is a good setting and most importantly original for the horror genre. (9/10)
Oscar Chances

Chances of Sequel: There most likely will be, as too many unanswered questions that can make something out of nothing.

Suggestion: I guess most horror fans will want to see it for themselves but truth be told I wouldn’t suggest even to them myself. (Avoid)


Best Part: it is short so you won’t waste much time watching it.

Worst Part: The stupid characters who go shhh!! And hear a noise and shout for their missing friends.


Overall: A poor horror exploiting a terrible disaster

Rating 35%


  1. “no real explanation to what is going on”?? Seriously? Are you not familiar with the Chernobyl nuclear incident? The one thing we know for sure from this flick, is EXACTLY what is going on, before it even starts, for that matter! I’m not sure if they somehow managed to shoot this in Chernobyl – actually (I don’t believe it’s accessible like that, for obvious reasons) – or if they just did a remarkable job with the set locations/pieces, but it looks alarmingly realistic. Very well paced, believable concept (the mutations to wildlife are already documented, taking it to a human level isn’t really all that profound of a stretch), capable cast and solid screenwriting. There are a few sketchy moments, ironically enough, more frequently occurring prior to arriving in Chernobyl, when the script should probably be “safe”, but this is one of the genuinely awesome concept flicks out there. It’s not perfect, but it’s a cool idea that plays off one of the most disturbing events in history.

    Something interesting I’ve experienced with the film: Those very familiar with, and or alive during the nuclear explosion incident in Chernobyl seem to get a big kick out of the flick while those who don’t even realize this is a story loosely rooted in factual events, and the details of those factual events, don’t seem to care for it. I’ve encountered it time and again, working in the biz. It’s a pretty interesting issue.

    • I admit i don’t know the complete back story of the event but i alot of other people won’t either. i know about the idea of mutation but we don’t see enough of what the government is doing to fully cover up these events, but i did like the idea, i just found the characters rubbish, the dialogue awful spending most of the film screaming and shouting while trying to hide. and the fact the camera work being all over the place wouldn’t have been bad if it was a found footage type film but it was meant to be a more stable camera idea.

      • Actually, Peli made note that the film would hopefully come across as something of a hybrid flick during the promotional run for the flick. The idea was big budget gloss meets found footage, which is, I think, pretty much how it looks. And, I agree, a lot of people simply aren’t going to know the back-story, and unfortunately that hurts the film. I was engrossed in this one. It drew memories of sitting at home with my parents – I must have been 6 or 7 when the reactor blew – and being both mystified and horrified by the news breaks, even though I wasn’t close to certain of what the hell I was seeing. Crazy feeling.

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