By BOP Staff
April 25, 2012
Max Braden: I thought Paranormal Activity was effective with its frights, even if it was predictable. I can't tell from this trailer if Chernobyl Diaries is supposed to be in "found footage" format or not. It looks more like the Hostel series. It does appear to be more spooky than gory, which I think is a strength. But we also just saw something similar with Silent House, and that's not a strength.
Shalimar Sahota: We get the set up, which tells us straight away that what these guys are getting into is a bad idea. We know something is going to go wrong. Something does go wrong. Cue screaming, spooky stuff in the background and someone saying, "Where are we going?" It seems to tick all the right boxes and has me curious enough to want to know how it ends. With the original paranormal activator Oren Peli, hopefully he'll do something different besides killing off his entire cast.
Felix Quinonez: I hadn't even heard of this movie before and when the trailer started I thought it looked pretty ehhh. But as it got going I have to say it did become a bit intriguing. I think the whole Chernobyl idea and "extreme tourism" seems pretty interesting. I wonder if that's a real thing, but I guess not enough to actually find out. I think it has some potential and it looks like it was shot really well too, so I'll probably check it out.
Bruce Hall: "Is it safe?" she asks. AFTER the 5,000 mile trip, she asks this. Of course it's not safe. You're a young, pretty white kid in an Oren Peli production. It's dark, you're alone, your car won't start, there are evil mutant kids after you and that BWOOSH movie trailer sound keeps happening right on cue, every time you turn around just in time to see something slither around a corner.
This looks like it's going to be one of those horror flicks that relies on the trope of attractive young people being somewhere they shouldn't be. The problem with this is that it's already difficult to sympathize with the characters in this kind of film. Spending the weekend at Camp Crystal Lake even though the 350 people before you were brutally hacked to pieces there is one kind of stupid. But a tour of Chernobyl? Where history's worst nuclear disaster left the area uninhabitable for eons? Where plants don't grow and birds don't fly? Really? I already hate these people and don't care if they die. I thought the horror genre had evolved a bit, but apparently not. We're still expected to jump at skeletons popping out of closets. I'm sure Chernobyl Diaries will at least be scary in the superficial sense, if not necessarily the visceral. Meh.