There are movies which are neither good nor bad. Middle of the road movies which could have been better, could have been worse, won’t make your favourites list but you wouldn’t eviscerate it when a friend asked about it. The Chernobyl Diaries is just such a movie. On some levels it is a wonderful movie. The idea of a tourist trip to the abandoned city of Chernobyl suddenly taking a wrong turn is a great setup for a movie.
There is nothing particularly offensive or scary about Chernobyl diaries. There are a few little startling moments but nothing on the scale of a truly jump out of your skin scary movie. This is more of a horror movie light which is long on atmosphere, short on action and even shorter on story line. There isn’t much more to be said about it as movies go other than the setting and camera work are good, the acting is competent, the script is thin, the special effects are pedestrian and the resolution leaves much to be desired and unfortunately leaves the door open for a sequel.
Chernobyl Diaries is a classic rainy day movie: one which can be watched and not watched at the same time. A little noise and distraction in the background while settling in with a David Morrell novel or taking care of the Xmas cards. It isn’t worth seeing but there is no reason to go out of your way to avoid it either. There is no reason it would ever be added to my permanent movie collection even as a gift as it would never find its way onto the screen again.