Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

If there’s anything redeeming about the otherwise ordinary Chernobyl Diaries, it’s that it proves a film about tragic urban exploring doesn’t need to be “found footage” to work. It doesn’t work well, though Chernobyl does provide sporadic suspense and claustrophobia that is pulled off slightly better than found sootage [sic] disasters such as the Tunnel and Grave Encounters. Like those films, the characters knowingly place themselves in a hazardous situation. In Chernobyl, the danger is mostly wild dogs and radiation. Hell, one or the other would have been enough, right? The curious ill-fated group is later confronted by mutant humanoids–likely a result of radiation–who come out of nowhere. And there may have been ghosts in there too. This wasn’t clear with all the other distractions in this inept attempt at R rated horror. [rating: $3] –Kenyon