Metascore
32

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 17
  2. Negative: 8 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    May 25, 2012
    50
    Chernobyl Diaries is afflicted with a fatal flaw that damages many horror films: after a better-than-average setup and a promising first half, everything falls apart.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 25, 2012
    38
    Despite an unlikely setting and a moderately intriguing premise, Chernobyl Diaries proves to be a generic horror flick where young tourists are systematically victimized in unoriginal and not terribly scary ways.
  3. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    May 26, 2012
    25
    The movie wants us to find this frightening, but there's no suspense, no terrifying images.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    May 25, 2012
    42
    It's mostly boilerplate horror, plucking visual ideas from better sources and relying on the sick novelty of referencing an actual catastrophe.
  5. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 25, 2012
    10
    You might actively root for their collective demise, if you could rouse yourself to care one way or the other. Go gallivanting in Chernobyl and you get what you pay for, nimrods.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    May 25, 2012
    38
    There's a nagging question at the heart of Chernobyl Diaries. It isn't what, or who, is stalking these kids. After awhile, the answer becomes apparent, leading to a denouement that, while mildly exciting, feels like a ride you've been on before.
  7. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    May 25, 2012
    60
    The novelty of the setting ultimately proves highly effective. Shot mainly in Eastern European locations that effectively stand in for Prypiat, which is now actually a tourist site, the film is highly convincing in its verisimilitude.
  8. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 25, 2012
    40
    In Chernobyl Diaries, directed by Bradley Parker, stupidity is taken to extremes.
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    May 25, 2012
    50
    Scattered stretches of suspense and a few undeniably potent shocks are not enough to dissipate the sense of deja vu that prevails throughout Chernobyl Diaries, a wearyingly predictable thriller about "extreme tourists."
  10. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    May 25, 2012
    12
    With the faux-verité aesthetics of [Rec], the American-tourists-in-Eastern-European-hell setup of Hostel, and the brain of a mushy radioactive mutant zombie thingie, Chernobyl Diaries is little more than decomposed horror leftovers.
  11. 30
    If this horror movie cashes in on the audience that echoes its character's awareness ("That's where the nucular thing happened, right?") then we're about to learn how low our national academic standards are.
  12. Reviewed by: Hank Sartin
    May 29, 2012
    40
    If, as some critics have claimed, "The Cabin in the Woods" made the horror genre obsolete, someone forgot to tell screenwriter Oren Peli.
  13. Reviewed by: Ken McIntyre
    Jun 21, 2012
    40
    Diaries is dark and gruesome, but with little in the way of genuine shock or surprise, you should expect the expected.
  14. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    May 25, 2012
    20
    The "Paranormal Activity" movies don't teem with metaphor, and neither does this film, directed by Brad Parker. The original "Night of the Living Dead" left you with plenty to chew on, so to speak; Chernobyl Diaries just leaves you feeling empty.
  15. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    May 25, 2012
    30
    The lack of suspense and surprise in this dispiritingly rote film becomes its own form of contamination.
  16. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    May 25, 2012
    40
    The problem with Chernobyl Diaries isn't that it's offensive, it's that it's dumb.
  17. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    May 25, 2012
    67
    If nowhere near as scary as the original Paranormal, the result is superior to many of the low-budget terror flicks that have arrived since (yes, The Devil Inside, we're talking about you) and benefits hugely from Dimitri Diatchenko's performance as moviedom's Worst. Tour. Guide. Ever.
User Score
4.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 56
  2. Negative: 22 out of 56
  1. May 27, 2012
    4
    In order to fairly review this movie, I really have to look at the first and second half almost as completely different movies. The firstIn order to fairly review this movie, I really have to look at the first and second half almost as completely different movies. The first half was pretty good. It was fairly well-done, and the tension slowly builds. I've always had a minor fascination with Chernobyl, and the movie did a good job of reproducing the look and feel of the place (well, early in the movie that is). Unfortunately, the second half of the movie is so ridiculously over-the-top, drawn-out, implausible, and repetitious, that I left the movie hating this movie (even though 45 minutes in to it I'd liked it). I don't want to give any ay spoilers, but I think that if they'd made a movie about wild dogs (ala Cujo) or a dangerous gang of hoodlums (something akin to "The Strangers" perhaps) living in Chernobyl, they'd have had a winner... but by instead going the horror route, they ruined a great setup. Full Review »
  2. May 25, 2012
    7
    Chernobyl Diaries has a few flaws and horror cliches, but nothing you wont forgive after watching it. It relies more on what you don't see vsChernobyl Diaries has a few flaws and horror cliches, but nothing you wont forgive after watching it. It relies more on what you don't see vs what you do. There are no points where it lags or drags, very intense. You wont fall in love with the characters but you will find yourself trying to turn around to see what that noise was. For horror buffs and date nighters, you wont go wrong. For everyone else, if you've seen the other summer blockbusters add this one to this list and enjoy. Full Review »
  3. May 31, 2012
    2
    The concept of this film first off, was just ridiculous and impossible, but obviously we don't go into every movie looking for realism, so itThe concept of this film first off, was just ridiculous and impossible, but obviously we don't go into every movie looking for realism, so it did have potential to be scary, but boy did this film fall flat. From the acting, to the script, to everything. There was just flaw after flaw after flaw. It had its tense moments where you feel as though somethings going to jump out and scare you...but then nothing happened. It was nothing but a big fakeout. This film is dumb, weak, and extremely predictable. 2/10 don't see this pile of junk! Full Review »