By BOP Staff
April 25, 2012
David Mumpower: I think this looks white-hot in that it is one of the best premises for a slasher flick in recent memory. The Hostel theme Max mentions of sexy teens traveled abroad is immediately one-upped by the hillbilly mutant premise from The Hills Have Eyes. This time, the setting is Chernobyl long enough after the events that we can reasonably presume (in a fantastical way) that a new race of evil beings has come into power. Say what you will about Oren Peli, his ideas are the best kind in Hollywood: commercial. Teens in jeopardy will always be the strongest, safest play in the industry as horror films are the cheapest to produce and safest box office bets to boot. As such, they are generally arbitrage properties and Chernobyl Diaries looks better than most. I think this has a tendency to break out in the same manner as a couple of other unexpected horror movies have done in the early portion of 2012. With regards to the trailer, what I especially enjoy is the atmospheric introduction of the setting. Some of you may recall a Spirited Away-esque viral video a couple of years ago that featured pictures from an abandoned amusement park. It was quite creepy. An abandoned nuclear facility creates that same provocative sense of danger. This is the same theme from the 28 Days Later trailer wherein an empty street immediately sets off the viewer’s mental alarms. I desperately want to see Chernobyl Diaries due to the quality of the trailer.
Kim Hollis: I don't really like horror movies, but I think this does look kind of intriguing. There's a decent sense of suspense built up and perhaps too much is revealed here in the trailer, but I think the payoff will come later in the film than what we're shown. I fear it may wind up being too gory for me, but maybe Oren Peli will keep it more psychological. It's the kind of thing I'll probably watch on video if it gets good reviews, but horror doesn't get me to the theater days unless it's named Cabin in the Woods.
Bruce Hall: I was as pessimistic about this as you can be, until I saw the trailer. They changed up some things about the story, mostly the whole part where it, you know, happens on Mars. Of course, considering what just happened with John Carter, maybe that will turn out to be a fortunate stroke of luck. I can't really call myself a huge fan of the original; the years have not been kind to it in my opinion. So, everything about this trailer grabs me by the lapels and drags me into the theater. The plot change seems interesting and timely, rather than stupid. Kate Beckinsale is in it. The special effects look solid. Just the right amount of action. And hey, Ethan Hawke is still alive!
Most of all, I believe in Colin Farrell already. When he looks scared, I buy it. When he beats the hell out of those storm troopers, I can handle it. And he does it without all the smug, unintentional self parody Arnold was beginning to manifest by the time he did this film. I'm in.