Chernobyl Diaries (2012) Film Review

I was about to say that 2012’s Chernobyl Diaries was the worst film I’ve reviewed for my site – but then I remembered this catastrophe. Anyway, I had such high hopes for this film, I went into it without reading a single review, or looking at any scores on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes. I thought, “Maybe this will be the film that let’s me have faith in modern horror films!” – I was wrong. In fact, I couldn’t be more wrong. You’re just going to have to read on to find out why. Oh yeah and beware of spoilers. 

Acting-wise, I was not expecting much. I did not recognise anyone in this film and upon inspection afterwards, I had seen literally none of the films any of these actors and actresses had been in. The one thing that bugged me about this film was that, if it were me, trapped in a nuclear disaster site with unknown creatures and mutated animals trying to kill me, I would show some signs of shock or fear – maybe the actors in the Chernobyl Diaries didn’t get the memo so they just stood around looking bored instead. Acting Rating – 4/10.

The story was one of the better elements of the film but still had it’s major plot holes – that kind of defeated the object of the plot itself. Two major things that bugged me were: Why on earth did the characters not just run away from Chernobyl when they saw that things were out to get them, instead of staying and WHY ON EARTH DID THEY GO INTO THE NUCLEAR REACTOR! Yeah, one of their friends got dragged in, so what? “Hey guys, you know, our friend has been taken by things we’ve already seen kill, so why should we not venture further into the nuclear reactor, where a nuclear disaster happened, and have a look around?”. NO. Anyway, apart from those two issues, the story was pretty interesting, just lost it’s way towards the end. Story Rating – 7/10.

Now, the cinematography in this film. Before you have a go at me for slating this so much – I could not, for the life of me, see what was going on in this film. Especially in the latter half. The film was so dark and the one flashlight used by the characters was pretty much the only light we got. If you’re going to have a dark setting, at least use some sort of enhancer on the camera – or even use night vision! Just don’t leave the viewer struggling to see what happens – because, to put it bluntly, it ruins the film. Cinematography Rating – 1/10.

The music in this managed to create some element of suspense – but it really wasn’t enough to save this movie from being a failure. I don’t know whether I just now look for the most exciting, dramatic music – or it really isn’t that good. Nevertheless, it was still pretty ominous and mysterious and was not played too loudly, nor quietly. It would’ve been nice to have some dramatic chase music in the chase scenes but the combination of heavy drum beats and high frequency noises was OK. Music Rating – 5/10.

How creative was this film? The answer is, not very. Considering the whole setting of this film is a real place and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster was a real event – there’s not that much creativity that can be put into it. Fair enough, the bear was a nice touch – as were the mutated humanoids but there wasn’t that much that could be done extra. Creativity Rating – 6/10.

Special Effects – well, from the ones I could actually make out, considering the lighting throughout the film, they were pretty good. The bear and dogs looked pretty realistic, the dogs more so and the mutated humans were pretty interesting as well. I had no real issues with the special effects in this film as they all looked pretty good. Special Effects Rating – 5/10.

Suspense is something that this film should have had a lot of, throughout the course of it’s eighty-six minute run-time. It was fairly suspenseful, WHEN I COULD SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON! All jokes aside, the music was fairly key to the tension-building parts of the film. Sometimes it was genuinely interesting, sometimes it was pretty boring. Suspense Rating – 6/10.

To conclude, I was pretty disappointed with this film – maybe it would’ve been better if I could have seen what was going on. Anyway, I award this film a 2-Star Rating. Have a good day folks!<3




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