Chernobyl Diaries is certainly one of the most prominent horror films of the summer, boasting the creators of ‘Paranormal Activity’. The plot takes inspiration from the nuclear disaster of 1986, which caused a mass of people to face the harsh realities of evacuation. This left the town deserted and bleak; the ideal setting for a horror story which experiments with the notion of ‘Extreme Tourism’.
The film concerns six young adults who are travelling around Europe, and decide to visit the highly unsafe and forbidden area of Chernobyl. Whilst on their trip, the original plan to have a two-hour tour unravels due to unforeseen circumstances. A combination of bad luck and a devilish attitude leave the group stranded and in trouble, having to encounter the horrors that the town presents.
Despite a relatively short running time at ninety-three minutes, Chernobyl Diaries manages to shake and scare the audience with its ‘Blair Witch Project’ style, combined with minimal production levels, which compliment the film perfectly.
Jesse McCartney and Dimitri Diatchenko are believable in their roles and play the parts to perfection, allowing the audience to develop an understanding of their characters. The story’s validity is aided by the historical background and vast news footage of the nuclear disaster that Chernobyl is renowned for.
Whilst it could be argued that the overall plot is somewhat predictable, the intelligent use of visuals and audio provide the ideal tone to achieve the raw style of this film.
Overall, Chernobyl Diaries benefits greatly from the unique situation of the geographical setting, however it becomes less engaging as the story develops and in the penultimate scenes it is almost possible to guess where the ‘scars’ will feature.