Chernobyl Diaries

Directed By: Bradley Parker

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

Last month, I gave The Cabin in the Woods a 0.06% rating.  While the first half of the film was a little dry for my taste, the second half had me sitting on the edge of my seat.  I didn't realize it then, but I think Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard might have raised my standard for the horror genre by just a few notches.  When I saw Bradley Parker's Chernobyl Diaries recently, I used their film as a comparison point and realized just how crappy this one is.  It's hard to go from filet mignon to a Big Mac.

Chris (Jesse McCartney), his girlfriend Natalie (Olivia Dudley), and her best friend Amanda (Devin Kelley) are traveling in Europe on vacation.  On their way to Moscow, they stop in Ukraine to visit Chris's big brother Paul (Jonathan Sadowski) who lives in Kiev.  There, Chris informs Paul that he intends to propose to Natalie in Moscow, but Paul is more interested in flirting with Amanda.  After a night of partying, Paul comes to the group with a proposal—to go with his new friend and tour guide Uri (Dimitri Diatchenko) to visit the abandoned city of Pripyat, home to the workers at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor years ago before the tragic disaster. Unfortunately for them, they decide to go on this extreme tourism adventure.  Against the advice of the police, they enter the abandoned city.  When there, they soon learn that they're not alone and that they don't have long to live.

Chernobyl Diaries is one of the worst horror films I've seen this year so far.  They pulled everything out of the horror movie playbook and failed miserably.  They've got radioactive zombies, big-breasted blondes, and dumb heroes who get their asses kicked one by one.  With all of this, director Bradley Parker doesn't get the job done, and it's not just because the movie is full of clichés.  Chernobyl Diaries is full of idiots, and that's where the real problem lies.  Who the hell goes to an abandoned, radioactive city for fun?  Morons.  That's who.  This isn't Camp Crystal Lake or some cabin in the woods.  The concept of the film is just utterly moronic!  If these fools get killed because they're that dumb, that's just too damn bad.  Those of us who appreciate good movies don't care about that kind of stupidity.  Good luck idiots.

My other big issue with Chernobyl Diaries is that it's entirely too predictable.  I could call everything that was going to happen in the first five minutes of the movie.   I knew who was dying and who was surviving.  I knew who would be heroes, and I knew who would be fools.  I knew the movie.  With this in mind, it's absolutely pointless to see this flick.  Everything done in Chernobyl Diaries has been done in plenty of other films and done better.  There's no need to waste your time or money on this predictable foolishness.

All the problems with Chernobyl Diaries can be linked to poor writing by writers Oren Peli, Brian Witten, and Bradley Parker.  I'd rather catch some shuteye than bother with watching the nonsense they put together in this film.  There is no way in hell you could get through this one sober.  I recommend some moonshine if you plan to watch this flick.  Chernobyl Diaries gets a wasted rating.