IMDB rate: 5,0
Before I start writing this review, I want to say that I have a thing with abandoned cities, not only in movies but also in real life. When I was in Prague I visited a sort of abandoned theme park (see my archive 'Prague' for pictures), it wasn't really abandoned anymore, but you felt the glory that used to be there, many many years ago, at least, I suppose there was some glory a long time ago. The theme park wasn't really abandoned, but the atmosphere was sure strange when I visited it, and I just love that feeling of loneliness and the feeling of profound glory. I also had this fascination with Chernobyl, I've always wanted to go there and take pictures of the same profound glory, the loneliness and silence of the city of Pripyat. I know there is a certain danger when going there, but abandoned cities are so incredibly fascinating to me. That's why I wanted to watch Chernobyl Diaries so badly, just to see how they made the city look like and I really liked it. I know the movie isn't actually filmed at Pripyat, because that won't be safe for the crew, but I did like how they made the city look. I must say that I don't know for sure if it resembles anything in Pripyat, so I can't say anything about that.
Anyway, that's what I wanted to say before starting the review.
Chernobyl Diaries is a movie about a tourists doing a Eurotrip, when visiting a brother of one of them in Ukraine, they decide to hire an extreme tour guide to take them to the abandoned city of Pripyat.
While they're walking through Pripyat, they're discovering that they're not alone. When they want to return to Kiev, it appears that the car they came in was made unclear, and because one of them is hurt, it is impossible to walk all the way back to the civilized world.
I read a lot of bad reviews about this movie so my expectations weren't really high, but eventually I thought the movie wasn't that bad. It wasn't really good either, but I liked the concept.
It wasn't really scary, just some good tension building moments, and after those moments, there didn't really happen much after it, but still, it wasn't that bad.
Because of the abandoned city the tension is always a bit higher in my opinion, because you have no idea what to expect. There can be wild animals, homeless people that are secretly killers, wax statues that have living people inside them or cannibals or whatever other horror movies have already show you. So, you just can expect anything. In the case of Chernobyl Diaries there where radio active patients, escaped from some weird hospital. They where bald, scary, fast and they have really good trained dog that didn't seem affected by the radiation.
Of course, every watcher of horror movies have a different feeling about what they find scary or not. In this movie you don't see a lot, the people that are terrorizing the tourists are only briefly shown, and other scary/shocking moments have already happened and you only see the outcome of it.
I find it a very frightening aspect in a movie when you don't see what actually happens, because you start to imagine yourself what happened, and that's most of the time, in my opinion, the scariest thing. When you didn't see something happen, everything was able to happen. The most cruel things, or maybe not at all, that's up to the watchers imagination.
I almost never watch horror movies with good intentions, because I know most of the time, they will suck anyway. The amount of real good horror movies is just not much, and going to see every horror movie with a good expectation is just dissatisfying, because you will get disappointed most of the time. When you expect the worse of a movie, it can only get better in my opinion, and so was it with this movie. I didn't expect much of it, and it got better than I expected.
There were some predictable scenes in this movies and the acting wasn't the best, but overall, the movie wasn't that bad. The only thing that I didn't like, was the ending. It seemed unfinished and it was like the writers just threw in another random idea to make an end to the movie. If the ending wasn't like this, I probably liked it a bit more, so that's the bad part of this movie.
Overall, if you're into abandoned city movies, this movie is really nice. I know it has a lot of bad reviews, but honestly, it wasn't that bad at all. If you're into gore and violence, don't watch it, you'll be disappointed.
My personal rate: 6,5/10