Sunday, 20 January 2013

Movie: The Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

The Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

I cannot think why I watched this except that I was on a very long plane ride and had a severe hankering for horror / thriller movies at the time... so much so that I watched every horror / thriller being offered on my flight - which was quite a few. This one stuck in my head though not for any good reason.

It's very Blair Witch - yes, we still liken these styles of films to this old '99 flick - in that there is a lot of hand-held camera shots, very shaky and very much vlog style. It's not the filming, or even the thriller part that caught my attention, it was Chernobyl itself and the rumours and myths surrounding it now.

The film is about a group of tourists who go on an Extreme Tourism day trip to the town of Pripyat, not too far from Chernobyl itself. Now we all know what happened there, right? Nuclear reactor four exploded and the surrounding areas - including Pripyat - had to be evacuated immediately... that's about 350,000 people, so there's still lots of stuff there. As much as this film is entirely fiction, the radiation levels have in fact dropped enough to allow people to visit Pripyat for short periods of time. If you want to see what it looks like now take a look at these 25 Years Later Photos by David Schindler. Looking through the photos makes me wonder if they did any filming on location. That would be difficult right? but if it's not on location they did a good job on the sets! Especially the Ferris Wheel.

Its a B-grade cast, of course, with the only recognisable name being Jesse McCartney and who is probably not someone a lot of people will know from looking at him as most of his work is voice work. The rest of the cast are uninteresting as actors and characters. The whole film had a gotchya feel to it; I kept expecting Uri to jump out when the last two were running around screaming yelling "Ah ha! Extreme Tourism! BAM!" and for it to have all been set up to scare them into being good little kiddies. Needless to say, it didn't end that way.

I liked that it's something that could actually exist, they are always the scariest thrillers. I jumped once, maybe twice so not that spooky. I wanted to get a closer look at the mutants! Wouldn't bother unless you're like me and ever so slightly intrigued by the idea of this story.

2 out of 5 mutant fish...

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