All I knew about the movie Chernobyl Diaries was the rather obvious factoid that the movie was set in…wait for it…Chernobyl (or, at least, a Chernobyl lookalike). And being the weirdo that I am, with the macabre fascination with Chernobyl that I have, that was really all it took for me to want to see this movie.
I maintained enough composure and sense, despite my excitement, to wager that the chances of this movie being any good were slim to none, so Gary and I waited until it appeared for a cheap rental online and watched it at home.
The film makes sure you know one thing right from the rip: you are going to pay dearly for your misguided choice to watch it. The actors (I use that term loosely) are a bumbling hornets’ nest of fools with the fine acting skills of a dead insect, and the plot and scenes are tired, worn-out, and predictable.
Oh, the van won’t start? Didn’t see that coming! Oh, going downstairs into a dark, crumbling building turned out to be a not-so-great idea? No way! *Yawn*.
After reading several books about the Chernobyl disaster, I was hoping that sitting through the poorly written and even more poorly acted scenes would be worth it to see a few glimpses of what I had read about, even if they were recreated props in another country (as filming actually took place in Hungary and Serbia). And I have to give credit for the baleful, eerie, ghost-town setting. But let’s get real, I could look at pictures of the actual location and not have to endure stiffly delivered lines, stereotypical roles (a blonde wearing a top with a plunging neckline? How original!), or an insanely moronic plot.
It wasn’t until after we had wasted time trying to pay attention to this movie that I learned it comes to us from the same director who brought us the Paranormal Activity series of bad movies. If you are a loyal reader of scintillating material, then you recall my impassioned review of Paranormal Activity and how it was perhaps a bit unflattering. I should have known, though, by the infuriatingly stupid and annoying characters and gaping holes in the flimsy plot that the movies were somehow related.
Gary and I laughed or cheered when any of the morons finally bit it in their Chernobyl Neverland. Each one down meant one step closer to the movie being blissfully and wonderfully over.
It probably goes without saying that I emphatically do not recommend this movie. Watching grass grow would be more interesting. Hell, watching grass not grow would be more interesting.
But if you are the self-punishing sort with absolutely nothing else to do, then go for it! Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And keep in mind one reviewer’s final analysis, deeming this movie a “plot-less mess of disaster porn”.