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Chernobyl Diaries (DVD )

455 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Chernobyl Diaries (DVD)

Oren Peli, the creator of Paranormal Activity, Insidious and television’s The River, brings forth a new and entirely compelling vision of terror. Based upon an original story by Peli, CHERNOBYL DIARIES is set in the Russian city of Prypiat that once housed the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. In this xenophobic horror-thriller, a group of friends, vacationing in Europe, find themselves stranded in the eerie, abandoned city... only to discover that they are not alone. In the aftermath of nuclear disaster years before, nature has begun to reclaim everything. And as the sun sets on this desolate ghost town, inhuman cries cut through the night air. Nature may have taken hold of the radioactive ghost town, but the supernatural stalks the streets in search of new blood.


A big part of the marketing pitch for Chernobyl Diaries is that it sprang from the mind of Oren Peli (cowriter and producer), the creative force responsible for birthing a new genre of "reality" horror with Paranormal Activity. Chernobyl Diaries doesn't follow the same Paranormal rules of pretending as though what we're seeing is genuine found footage of something horrific, or documentary evidence of actual supernatural events. But it does stick to the general rules of the slick new breed of horror movies that force a more immediate sense of dread by placing us within the action in periods of real time. Added to that is the stylistic use of jangly hand-held camera, natural light, and nerve-wracking glimpses of action that mimic the unsettling effect of peripheral vision. The setup is as old as Friday the 13th: a group of beautiful young bodies trapped in an island environment are gruesomely knocked off one at a time by a barely seen vengeful presence. A couple of movies have exploited the creepy potential of the deathly ghost town of Chernobyl and the adjacent city of Pripyat, where the doomed nuclear plant workers lived, but none with such an air of hair-raising authenticity (there's lots of seamless digital background fakery, and the actual stand-in filming location was Serbia). Four American friends and a pair of European travelers take a spur-of-the-moment "extreme tourism" visit to the wasteland city with a mysterious Russian guide based in Kiev, only to be turned away by Russian authorities when the vanload of them try to enter through the main gate. Undeterred, they find a back way in and at first have lots of creepy fun wandering the ominously desolate ruins, with nary a thought for the clacking of a Geiger counter or the strange signs that they may be under surveillance. The big trouble begins when they find the van sabotaged, stranding them overnight while feral dogs, psychotic bears, and possibly something more sinister circle around to mess with their minds and their bodies. It all ends very badly over the course of the next day and night. The presence of mutated creatures is hinted at, and they're briefly seen in the dank corners and dusty halls of abandoned apartment flats, institutional chambers, or industrial warehouses that have become home to ghastly inhabitants in the intervening years since the nuclear accident. While not a classic of the genre, Chernobyl Diaries makes excellent use of its premise and surroundings to keep the tension high. Horribly rendered things happen unexpectedly on the edges of the frame or just out of sight from a flashlight beam or around the corner of a decaying concrete slab. A whiff of conspiracy is suggested when the Russian authorities make brief appearances, but the more disturbing and effective scares grow from the threat of activity that's a result of the paranormal elements in a story and a place where no hapless, numskulled young thing should dare tread. --Ted Fry

Special Features

- Chernobyl Conspiracy Viral Video

Product Details

  • Actors: Devin Kelley, Jonathan Sadowski, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Jesse McCartney
  • Directors: Brad Parker
  • Writers: Oren Peli
  • Producers: Oren Peli, Richard Sharkey, Brian Witten, Rob Cowan, Andrew A. Kosove
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Ultraviolet, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2012
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (455 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008VPCL7G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,813 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Chernobyl Diaries (DVD )" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By The thinker on November 29, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I just finished watching Chernobyl Diaries. I saw there were mixed reviews but I thought I would give it a shot. The beginning was your typical young travellers going thru Europe and one of them finds someone to take them on this big adventure.Once they get to the Chernobyl area, things begin falling apart and I must say from that point on ,I was hooked. The movie did exactly what it was suppose to do ,I really felt engrossed in what was going on and uncomfortable. In other words, it delivered.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful By S. Peele on October 19, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I see alot of bad reviews for this movie but....I simply enjoyed it not really original but what is in this day and time.I love movies so i never,ever listen to bad reviews i watch them for myself due to the fact people like different things.The movie had a few jumps and scares but i freaking loved the ending!!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gregory T. Ross on October 21, 2012
Format: DVD
I am shocked by the all the negative reviews about this movie. I am one of those people who does not need sex, nudity, or gore in my horror movies. I love movies that set mood and atmosphere. The best horror movies do not need to rely on gore to be scary, nor do they need to show monsters throughout the whole movie. Showing just enough so that a person's mind fills in the blanks are the best kind of movies. Chernobyl Diaries is not original and the ending does not really come as a great surprise, but for a low budget film this one is great. The empty buildings actually sent shivers up my spine during the day, let alone at night. This movie really succeeds with its use of light and shadow. Thus for me it was the ride getting to the ending that made this movie. Do not let other negative reviews sway you, rent it first and check it out for yourself.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Jos on October 8, 2012
Format: DVD
I'll give it 2 stars for the simple fact that the first 15 minutes or so of the film is decent. The setting is original but that's pretty much it.
If you've seen The Hills Have Eyes 1 or 2, then you've seen this movie also. Any movie goer will be able to predict who dies next in the group with astonishing accuracy. Many of the scenes in the movie are just simply ridiculous and obviously meant to prolong the storyline. It would have been a good 45 minute short film but the director saw fit to include another 45 minutes of cliche 'Hills Have Eyes' horror into the movie.

(Slight spoiler alert)
I began losing interest in the movie when a bear comes blazing down the hallway but what did the movie in for me was when the ex-spetsnaz (Russian special forces) takes running off into the woods at night with just a 9mm and no light to find out what's making a strange noise. He already knew the woods were extremely dangerous at night. Why not just stay in the van until morning when he said he would fix it? To me, the scene was solely shot so that the movie would keep dragging on. Plus, why would you start blaming and yelling at the guy who quite literally, is their only hope of getting out alive. It's just common sense not to piss off the guy who can fix the van and has the only gun.
Next plot hole, the girl who was taking all the pictures see's a guy in one of here pictures looking at them from a 6 story window but says nothing to anybody about it....why? So far, theyhave only seen dogs but now she knows there are other things here also. Why wouldn't you share that information?
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Boone on October 19, 2012
Format: DVD
The idea of an "extreme tour" of an abandoned city is a good one, this city being Pripyat, which was home to the workers and their families that ran the Chernobyl reactor, up until the disaster in 1986 which led to its abandonment. A group of young tourists go in a van to see this place but are turned away at the checkpoint due to "maintenance". Their tour guide, however, knows more than one way into the place, so the group gets to see the abandoned city, but something else is going on and they're stranded when someone or something tampers with their van. The good bits are that the film is creepy and the atmopshere is good. The bad bits is that the film becomes increasingly clumsy and events are a bit beyond belief as the film rolls on toward the end. Yeah, it's a movie, and things are not necessarily meant to be believed. As the surviving members flee for their lives from mostly unseen assailants and you realize where they actually are, it's a bit shocking, but the ending itself is just a bit too ridiculous. Overall, it's worth a watch, not great but definitely passable. 3 out of 5 stars.
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29 of 39 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy on August 16, 2012
Format: DVD
The film opens up with all the excitement of watching your neighbor's vacation films...which is what we are doing. Two couples are touring Eurasia. Chris (Jesse McCartney) the sensible one, and Paul (Jonathan Sadowski) the wild man are brothers. There are two lovely young ladies with them, Amanda (Devin Kelley) and Natalie (Olivia Dudley). Paul hooks up with the proverbial Russian named Uri (Dimitri Diatchenko) who offers him a backdoor tour of the abandoned city of Chernobyl (Pripyat). Another couple joins them because seven people make for a better horror film than five...except in this case.

While I was waiting for a scene out of "Hostel" or something interesting to happen, it didn't happen. Instead the van breaks down (it would be a quick movie if it didn't) and our group of tourists are stuck in a restricted area with no communication. The movie has that jittery hand held camera action to it, which I have grown to hate. To make the thrills cheaper, they turn out the lights and have everyone scream in terror. Oh, Chris has a boo-boo on his leg.

Eventually the film budget allows them to use lighting and then they run the credits.

F-bombs, no sex, no nudity.

***Possible Plot Spoiler**** This film is similar to "Quarantine" in that you have to wait until the very end to get a glimpse of what is causing the terror. And by end, I mean followed by a credit roll.
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