Chernobyl Diaries This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

June 3, 2012
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Bradley Parker's “Chernobyl Diaries” stars a small cast that includes Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski, and Olivia Dudley. The film revolves around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in Pripyat, Ukraine, which melted down in 1986, although the movie is set in the present day.

The plot, like that of most horror movies, is simplistic.
A group of friends take an ­extreme tour through abandoned Pripyat with a local guide, Uri. That day, the city is closed for “maintenance,” but Uri takes them in through a secret, illegal entrance. Once inside, strange events occur that worry Uri. When the sun goes down, the nightmare begins. Thrills including radioactive animals and escaped human ­patients contribute to the nerve-wracking disappearance of the American tourists and Uri.

The film sets the scene for a thriller, opening with a typical “friends having fun” atmosphere that foreshadows the ­terror ahead. The through-line is a archetypal “it's all fun and games until someone dies.” The background is weak and confusing for those unfamiliar with Chernobyl.

The disappearance of each character is shown too quickly and vaguely. The movie runs for just 86 minutes and might have benefited from more time to explain what is happening. Its pace is unsteady and fails to reach a clear and exciting climax. Another strike against the movie is the poor visuals of the “people” disturbing the tourists. The audience only catches glimpses of the escaped patients in the dark. Most of the horror is lost in the confusion over what is killing the tourists.

Overall, the movie deserves 2/5 stars. The horror/thrill rating barely earns 2.5 out of 5, with occasional jump-out-at-you scares and bloody wounds. The film begins strong, with tense, heart-racing, rising action, but fails to provide a shocking climax. The conclusion doesn't answer any questions and leaves the audience disappointed and confused.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Fakesmile said...
Jun. 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm
Um, well I guess I owe you a huge THANK YOU!  If I hadn't read this review I would've spent my money on that movie instead of another one that I had been wanting to see (The Raven). I'm the kind of person who absolutely loves horror movies and i could understand every point you made! Great job!!!! PLease keep writing so I know what to spend time watching!!!!! :D
rebecca-rose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm
You're very welcome! And I plan on writing a review for every movie I see this summer so!
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