Chernobyl Diaries (2012)



Critic Consensus: Despite an interesting premise and spooky atmospherics, Chernobyl Diaries is mostly short on suspense and originality.

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Chernobyl Diaries is an original story from Oren Peli, who first terrified audiences with his groundbreaking thriller, Paranormal Activity. The film follows a group of six young vacationers who, looking to go off the beaten path, hire an "extreme" tour guide. Ignoring warnings, he takes them into the city of Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, but a deserted town since the disaster more than 25 years ago. After a brief exploration of the abandoned city, however, the group soon finds themselves stranded, only to discover that they are not alone... -- (C) Warner Bros.
R (for violence, some bloody images and pervasive language)
Drama , Horror
Directed By:
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Devin Kelley
as Amanda
Milos Timotijevic
as Russian Check Point Guard
Milutin Milosevic
as Ukrainian Thug
Ivan Djordjevic
as Ukrainian Thug
Ivan Jovic
as Ukrainian Thug
Zinaida Dedakin
as Restaurant Owner
Ivana Milutinovic
as Little Girl
Alex Feldman
as Medic Goldshimdt
Kristoff Konrad
as Medic Grotzky
Jay Krash
as Humanoid
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Critic Reviews for Chernobyl Diaries

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (16)

Once the annoying, two-dimensional characters start getting bumped off one by one, it's just a relief that the actors have stopped improvising their own banal dialogue.

Full Review… | June 19, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Director Bradley Parker shakes his camera around a lot.

Full Review… | May 29, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

The real stars of the movie are the tired devices and plot points. They're famous, but they're as old as Betty White: The Guide Is Dead, The Van Won't Start, Her Shirt Has a Plunging Neckline, Don't Go in There.

Full Review… | May 28, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Standard-issue genre accessories (dank stairways, flashlights, overcast skies, frosty windows) abound; shocks are mild and few.

Full Review… | May 25, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

You might actively root for their collective demise, if you could rouse yourself to care one way or the other. Go gallivanting in Chernobyl and you get what you pay for, nimrods.

Full Review… | May 25, 2012
Top Critic

First-time director Bradley Parker (working from a script co-written by Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli) understands that suggesting is scarier than showing, and confusion generates more suspense than explanations do.

Full Review… | May 25, 2012
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Chernobyl Diaries

Cannot even believe I paid to see this.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

Bad acting, predictable scares, insipid writing, and utterly devoid of any compelling suspense or surprises; this horror schlock wastes away its eerie premise to become a lackluster rip-off of 'The Hills Have Eyes'.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

Straight to the point: Chernobyl Diaries has some of the worst acting/script/motivations I have seen in a movie, along with incredibly predictable 'scares'. YET, it has probably the best untapped location of any horror. From the offset, you're introduced to some 'cool' kids who'll annoy the hell out of you immediately. Nothing is believable, none of the characters connect with you or each other. I hated the characters so much I was literally waiting for them to be lynched by the monsters. The only characters/actors I appreciated was a tour guy who takes them to Chernobyl and a hippie Australian who tags along with his hollow girlfriend. Not surprising (and this was the reason I went to see the movie) was the fact the movie improved ten-fold when they arrive in Chernobyl. The location is astonishingly eerie and you can easily believe the myths of mutants living there. Here the film actually becomes scary to some extent and you feel yourself tensing up. Until of course, the actors interrupt your concentration with some appalling, predictable stuff. And so the finale winds down with your typical 'running blindly (literally at the very end), being chased by hordes of evil freaks'. And characters don't die so much as get whisked away into the darkness. Whenever the movie builds up to something scary, it's always undone by a disappointing result, leaving you a little bit deflated each time. 2 Stars 4-5-13

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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