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The Filmaholic Reviews: Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

Posted on the 10 October 2013 by Filmaholic Reviews @FilmaholicRvews
The Filmaholic Reviews: Chernobyl Diaries (2012)
The Lowdown: Absolute garbage. It makes Paranormal Activity 4look Oscar-worthy.
1. The Plot: A group of tourists go to Europe and end up trying out “extreme tourism”. Their destination? Chernobyl. Despite roadblocks and patrol, the tour guide uses alternate forest routes to get them to the city. After the tour, their van breaks down (who didn’t see this coming?) and there is no cell reception. There also isn’t anyone to help them get back to civilization since Chernobyl is abandoned. Or is it? (cue screaming, etc.)
2. The Characters:This section of the review is pretty much rendered moot since there is no character in any of the characters. Acting? What in the world is that? Everyone is a stiff, cardboard cliché and many of the characters come off as unlikable, meaning that we don’t care about them or the dilemma they’re in. Heck, even though poor Jesse McCartney (yes, he is in this film) gets his legs torn up and suffers for about half an hour in an abandoned van, we don’t really care because we know five seconds into the film that he and the rest of the cast are dead meat anyways.

The Filmaholic Reviews: Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

Seven idiots in an abandoned place. What else is new? 

3. Extreme Bullshit:Despite the fact that Chernobyl Diaries has one of the lamest premises ever, it also demonstrates extreme laziness on the part of the filmmakers and screenwriters, who couldn’t come up with a more interesting way to change things up. Oh wow, instead of dumb teenagers to be used as fodder for jump scares and crappy death scenes, they made them dumb tourists instead! Instead of a haunted house or a haunted town, it was Chernobyl, which has nobody in it anyways, so they made up fake, evil things to dwell in it instead!

The Filmaholic Reviews: Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

Look! They even do the cheesy "stand here alone not facing you" routine! I've never been so not scared in my life!

Speaking of fake, evil things in Chernobyl, what the heck are these things? Are they zombies? Are they just horribly mutated from the radioactive atmosphere? Do they do anything except wait for idiotic extreme tourists to come by so they can snatch and kill them in the middle of the night? And just what do they do with their victims? Do they eat them? Transform them? Experiment on them? We’ll never know. The film doesn’t tell us any of this. It just assumes that we associate Chernobyl with being empty, but by showing us that it actually houses thousands of “things” that “do bad things” to other people, it’s automatically supposed to be scary. Earth to filmmakers, we’re not stupid.
4. Worst Ending Ever:    Chernobyl Diaries has probably the worst twist ending to a horror movie ever. For too long now, plot twists have been mandatory insertions into horror movies. Usually, these twists either reveal that the villain isn’t dead, or that the surviving main characters die. Twist endings should not be used solely for shock value; they should be used to help bolster the narrative by introducing a radical but intriguing shift in the story. They also tend to work better if they are either unexpected, leading to surprise.    In Chernobyl Diaries, there is no suspense, no intrigue, and no surprise. The “shocking” ending can be seen a mile away, and the only thing shocking about it is how jaw-droppingly terrible it is. It is so awful that it made me angry at how inept it is. That’s why I am now going to spoil it for you.    At the end, only two of the characters are alive, a guy and a girl. Everyone else has been taken by the things that live in Chernobyl. They somehow end up inside the damaged nuclear reactor, where they begin to suffer from radiation burns and poisoning. Once they get out of the reactor, they are faced with armed soldiers. The male character is shot and killed for no apparent reason, and the girl is carried away in an ambulance. We then see her being wheeled down a long corridor by people with masks. She is carted into a dark room and locked in. Then, from the shadows, dozens of the “things” from Chernobyl swarm her and the movie ends.    WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF ENDING IS THAT? How about an explanation for any of this garbage? Where did the armed soldiers come from? Why did they rescue the girl only to have her get mobbed by those things? What are those things anyways, and why do these soldiers have rooms full of them? Oh forget it. It’s too much. Really, this could be the worst ending ever to any movie, let alone a horror movie.
The Bottom Line: Chernobyl Diaries isn’t just bad. It’s complete bullshit. I feel personally insulted that I watched this poorly-written, poorly-made, and poorly-conceived piece of crap film. It made me feel angry, and that’s not what I should have felt watching this. Chernobyl Diaries is about as terrible as it gets. Don’t touch it with a 30-foot pole.
Chernobyl Diaries is property of Alcon Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment, and Oren Peli/Brian Witten Pictures. This review was written by me.
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Copyright © Filmaholic Reviews, 2013

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