RUN TIME- 86 MINS
WRITERS- OREN PELI, CAREY VAN DYKE AND SHANE VAN DYKE
STARRING- JESSE McCARTNEY, JONATHAN SADOWSKI AND OLIVIA DUDLEY
DIRECTOR- BRADLEY PARKER
Synopsis taken from IMDb
A group of six young vacationers who, looking to go off the beaten path, hire and "extreme" tour guide. Ignoring warnings, he takes them into the city of Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, but a deserted town since the disaster more than 25 years ago.
After hearing about this movie I got real interested in the Chernobyl incident. The more I read about the incident the more I became intrigued with giving this film a shot.
Off the bat I knew I was going into a Wrong Turn/The Hills Have Eyes type of movie. So that hurts the originality of the film because this idea's been done. But it also is very original to use Chernobyl as the setting.
This film got some bad reactions out of certain people close to the incident. A UK based charity 'Chernobyl Children's Lifeline' said the film was "disgusting".
The film starts off with our group of 4 friends touring Europe. We see camcorder videos of them in France as well as other places. When the gang sets to go to Moscow in Russian, the big brother, Paul, advises the gang to change plans. He proposes they go to the city of Pripyat on an "extreme" tour guide and walk around the abandoned ruins of the the Chernobyl #4 meltdown.
They go to meet Uri, their tour guide who has a military background. He seems genuine and efficient and the gang trust him. Two more hikers join the gang on the tour.
On the way to the site the guards won't let them pass, so they have to take a back road way that sneaks them past the guards.
When they first show up in the city of Pripyat it is a eerie thing. To see the way the city looked all abandoned and neglected. You could tell that something serious went down in the area and the location looked like the real thing. I was looking for accuracy in the location of the film compared to the actual site area and the film makers did a good job.
After taking multiple pictures and recording videos and sightseeing, Uri comes to find evidence that they may have company in what was supposed to be abandoned land. He urgently rushes them back to the van.
Upon entering the van they come to find that the wires have been ripped out and it won't start. Leaving them stranded over night in the radiation filled city and terrified. I found this to be really chilling and sunk through my bones. To think of being in that situation, being stranded with no hope. No one knows your there, it's a far walk back, the area is the subject of a horrific incident and it's abandonment makes it spooky as hell.
Through the night they come to hear noises and Uri grabs his gun and heads out into the night blackness. And the group comes to find that they aren't alone.
I was scared through alot of this movie. My heart was pounding pretty hard and the suspense was very intense. The movie seemed very authentic and I didn't mind the cast, although all the acting suffers some. The character development they were going for wasn't all there.
I thought the first 45 minutes of this film was great, I really liked it. I was glued to the screen despite the negative reviews. However, the last 40 minutes of the film suffer. What was an original idea was snipped and clipped into having a generic ending. The ending did not fit the movie, the rest of the movie was very entertaining.
The last half of the movie became very unbelievable and unrealistic which hurts the film because the first half was genuine. This becomes cliche because it becomes another political message about how the government is behind everything and the root of all evil.
It seemed like the ending was just thrown onto the movie. I think this movie would have been great if they gave it the Blair Witch treatment and left it open and haunting. Leaving it sit with you. But instead the movie turns into a generic film for the last half and it was indeed disappointing. This film had alot of potential. It felt like a serious rated R horror movie just stepped into a PG-13 horror film for it's finale.
I didn't hate this movie, I actually liked it. It isn't nearly as bad as the critics said. I think that I like the idea of what the film could have been after the first half more than the film itself however.
It's decent. That's the best I can say. Not a movie you'll regret watching and if you're in the mood for a creepy horror film go with this, as long as you're willing to get to suffer the lame pay off. You'll enjoy the first bit for sure, and maybe that can bring yourself to like the whole film.
THIS FILM GETS 2 1/2 REAPER SKULLS OUT F 5