User Score
4.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 135 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 135
  2. Negative: 49 out of 135
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  1. Sep 26, 2013
    6
    Chernobyl Diaries in an effective thriller, but only good at most. It is shot in the style of Paranormal Activity, except the story that captivated millions in Paranormal doesn't show here. Instead, we have a shell of a horror movie that has many clich├ęs and flaws, but is worth a look-see. Well, at least a look-see at the last half hour, because the rest of the movie is just filler.
  2. Mar 30, 2013
    5
    All I can say is it's not scary. It has a creepy setting and could have been downright terrifying had they relied on something other than predictable jump scares that you can see coming from a mile away. There's no real atmosphere and they spent to long in the beginning of the movie trying to get you to like the characters by giving us their story before going into this ordeal, and I'veAll I can say is it's not scary. It has a creepy setting and could have been downright terrifying had they relied on something other than predictable jump scares that you can see coming from a mile away. There's no real atmosphere and they spent to long in the beginning of the movie trying to get you to like the characters by giving us their story before going into this ordeal, and I've never been a big fan of that kind of thing. In my opinion they should just throw the people into the middle of the horror ASAP and sprinkle their story throughout. It's never gruesome enough, never smart enough, and certainly never scary enough to be considered a good horror movie. Which is sad because there are some true hints of genius hidden throughout that show potential for an outstanding horror movie, but I have to review the movie based on what it is and not what it could be. Expand
  3. Mar 11, 2013
    6
    Chernobyl Diaries is the Directorial debut from Bradley Parker and Written by the man who brought us four installments of Paranormal Activity, Oren Peli, but the only thing original about this film is it's location. A group of friends are traveling through Europe in what looks like a shot for shot remake of Hostel, when they meet a man who gives tours of the abandon city near Chernobyl.Chernobyl Diaries is the Directorial debut from Bradley Parker and Written by the man who brought us four installments of Paranormal Activity, Oren Peli, but the only thing original about this film is it's location. A group of friends are traveling through Europe in what looks like a shot for shot remake of Hostel, when they meet a man who gives tours of the abandon city near Chernobyl. After being rejected entry into the city, the group sneaks in and runs into a whole mess of trouble. This is your very basic zombie film, with nothing extraordinary about it. You've seen this story a hundred times, but what makes Chernobyl Diaries different is that it takes place in Russia and features a talent cast. What's interesting about this cast is that none of them have any background in horror. Jesse McCartney is a singer who does mostly voice over work, and Devin Kelley is almost strictly a TV actress. Taking these role was something new for them and they really put all they had into it. I feel like it was wasted effort though, as this film really is nothing different. Friends on vacation go to a unique location and run into something supernatural that tries to kill them, it's been done over and over again. The unique location made for a great start to something, unfortunately the writers didn't know what to do with that, and the result is another ordinary film that gets an average rating. Expand
  4. Mar 16, 2013
    1
    This movie stinks, just another terrible horror movie. How fun would it be to visit Chernobyl? That is a serious question that this movie asks. Chernobyl Diaries is one of the worst of 2012.
  5. Jun 1, 2012
    1
    It's the worst movie I've seen in '12, and by far the worst horror flick I've seen in a 2 - 3 years. It's as if someone thought - "Hey, I'd bet Chernobyl would be a killer setting for a movie. Maybe a horror movie! Yeah, and you know, I've seen video games dealing with radiation that have dogs in them, and bald dudes, and running down corridors." It's simply awful. The acting isIt's the worst movie I've seen in '12, and by far the worst horror flick I've seen in a 2 - 3 years. It's as if someone thought - "Hey, I'd bet Chernobyl would be a killer setting for a movie. Maybe a horror movie! Yeah, and you know, I've seen video games dealing with radiation that have dogs in them, and bald dudes, and running down corridors." It's simply awful. The acting is abyssal. They waste the one interesting character - the Russian Special Forces extreme tour guide. He doesn't do a damned thing! The film is boring, there is no strategic thinking to it, you don't care about any of the characters (the younger brother is putrid - who cast that kid?), and the ending is a joke. Don't bother - it's not fun, it's not scary. It's a check swing third strike. Expand
  6. Sep 23, 2012
    9
    It's one of the scary movies I have been afraid. This movie has a little of what happened after the Chernobyl disaster, and I personally find very interesting topic. The film is highly recommended and entertaining.
  7. May 25, 2012
    7
    Ok, we have again other movie that use the found footage (yes like Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity), and what happen? yes have some cool moment in that you jump, and you put a scare face, but the big problem of the movies is the next: Is same that the rest of the found footage movies. Good movie, but we watch all of this movies.
  8. Jan 4, 2013
    4
    Suspense and atmosphere may be present at times as with a couple well constructed scares, but Chernobyl Diaries is a horribly executed film that could have been fun but ends up being cheap and frustrating.
  9. Jun 11, 2013
    7
    That's a great film. Good plot and great direction. The end.. bahh extraordinary I am sad that this movie has such bad reviews. In my opinion it's a must-see horror movie of the decade. Not the best of course, but still a good one
  10. Oct 21, 2014
    6
    The idea is fairly unique and creative making for and interesting plot, however It's dim scenes and shaky camera movements make for a difficult ride. So interesting it deserves a sequel (A shot at redemption)
  11. 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 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 scareThe 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! Expand
  12. May 28, 2012
    3
    Oren Peli is best known for the Paranormal Activity series and last year's favorite "Insidious." "Chernobyl Diaries" is not one of them. This could be a big misfire for a critical indie favorite. The actors are kinda boring to me and I don't see any horror monsters, just a dose of radiant heatwaves and a rip-off of last year's Matt Damon film "Contagion." All I see is a couple of 90Oren Peli is best known for the Paranormal Activity series and last year's favorite "Insidious." "Chernobyl Diaries" is not one of them. This could be a big misfire for a critical indie favorite. The actors are kinda boring to me and I don't see any horror monsters, just a dose of radiant heatwaves and a rip-off of last year's Matt Damon film "Contagion." All I see is a couple of 90 minutes of wasted memories of the 2002 disaster. Get on with the "Insidious" sequel already. Chernobyl Diaries is a mess and I hope Oren Peli learned a lesson today: We don't even care what Chernobyl means. Expand
  13. Apr 23, 2013
    3
    I honestly can't believe all the negative reviews, In my opinion from so-called horror movies like Paranormal Activity, Saw, Psycho, etc. This has been the mos entertaining sure the characters were bad, excluding. the girl who made it to the end, She was actually the only real one and good one and smart one. Sure I didn't get scared my girlfriend jumped a few times, but eh. But theI honestly can't believe all the negative reviews, In my opinion from so-called horror movies like Paranormal Activity, Saw, Psycho, etc. This has been the mos entertaining sure the characters were bad, excluding. the girl who made it to the end, She was actually the only real one and good one and smart one. Sure I didn't get scared my girlfriend jumped a few times, but eh. But the atmosphere was creepy. I liked the idea a good mutant/zombie film better then 28 Days Later. Were ever Chernobyl actually happened this better not be shown there or America will have another war going on, unless there reasonable enouh to realize its just a movie. The only part of the film tha literally felt the most unrealistic didnt include any mutants, it envovled a bear in some building. My point is watch it. Expand
  14. Jun 1, 2012
    10
    To Be 100% Honest..
    This Movie Scared The Crap Out Of Me! Great Cast, The Story Line B+...
    Overall A A+ I Have NEVER Been So Scared In My Life (The Strangers Is Really Scary)
    Great Movie!
  15. Jan 12, 2013
    10
    "Chernobyl Diaries" is like being in the world of Silent Hill which is 100% scary, no, terrifying to be honest.
    "Chernobyl Diaries" delivers good scares, good scenes, and a great horrific-adventurous plot, with a great movie twist, expected somehow that they will get stick in Chernobyl, but great!
  16. May 30, 2012
    8
    I thought this movie was actually quite well done. Sure, there was a dissapointing ending, but I've studies Chernobyl and Pripyat before and this really brings the horror to life. Sure there's no mutant victims running around eating people, but i think the scenes were well laid out and really got my heart rate going and had great suspense. i would go see it!
  17. Nov 20, 2012
    9
    Chernobyl is scary as hell
  18. Jan 1, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "Chernobyl Diaries" has a promising setup, but ultimately gives you nothing you haven't seen before in countless other horror films. When a group of American teenagers accepts an offer from a Russian extreme tourist guide to an abandoned town just outside Chernobyl, they quickly discover they're not alone and find themselves in a grim fight for survival . . . only, really, there's less fighting in this movie than just vaguely incoherent running, chasing and split-second scary images. It honestly plays and feels like a found-footage movie, despite not actually being one, and although the acting is decent, it's only at its best in the first act, when it's relying on the atmosphere of the abandoned town itself to build suspense. After that, you just get some dogs, a bunch of people you never see clearly, a series of moronic decisions to continue further and further into the high-radiation zones (they actually end up right outside the friggin' Chernobyl reactor), and a conclusion that is as unsurprising as it is unoriginal. I'll give the film credit for its characters, as they are much more believable and likeable than most other horror flick teenagers, but they're only slightly less idiotic in their decisions and, of course, all die (the last one counts, I say). The result? A rather messy and underdeveloped film that wastes an engaging context on cliches, tropes and a thorough lack of authentic tension or excitement. Expand
  19. Aug 7, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie, is bad and good. But, mostly bad. What really pissed me off about this movie was how it ended.. It didn't leave me extremely disappointed, but extremely pissed. You find out that Chernobyl is pretty much controlled by these people. The movie went too fast. It was one thing after the other. The acting was pretty awful. But, I was somewhat entertained. Expand
  20. Oct 20, 2012
    3
    There is no denying the set pieces are amazing. I will give the film one point for that. Another point comes from the creative writing and conversations the characters have towards the start of the movie. And the third and final point comes from the fact that this is not a found footage film. I'm sick of those. Other than that this is a scare-deprived, cop out ending, recycled piece of garbage.
  21. Jun 28, 2012
    6
    First things first, this is NOT another found footage movie, even though the trailer made it seem that way. Instead, it is a pretty atmospheric, creepy and in some spots genuinely frightening piece of modern horror. I enjoyed the film for its creepy atmosphere and mood. However, my only qualms about it concern the fact that at times it seems the filmmakers are trying to make some moneyFirst things first, this is NOT another found footage movie, even though the trailer made it seem that way. Instead, it is a pretty atmospheric, creepy and in some spots genuinely frightening piece of modern horror. I enjoyed the film for its creepy atmosphere and mood. However, my only qualms about it concern the fact that at times it seems the filmmakers are trying to make some money off the worst nuclear disaster in history. Also, venturing into the highly radioactive Prypiat doesn't really sound like a fun day out, especially if at night you'll be dragged off screaming by a bunch of zombie-mutants that want to rip your intestines out and feast on your flesh. Overall, its good for an adrenaline rush of fast-paced horror with no intelligence behind it. Expand
  22. May 1, 2013
    3
    I am not a fan of this genera of movie. I am normally a scaredy cat but this movie didn't even make me flinch. The acting was horrid, it even made me laugh it was so bad. I liked the idea of being in Chernonyl and the exposer to radiation. I think they could have done it a lot better than they did.
  23. Jun 1, 2012
    3
    I really wanted to like this movie, I did. This story had potential. But I feel like very minimal effort was put into this film. There were some interesting ideas and tense scenes that hinted at a decent movie, but most of it was poorly done. There where times in which I did not feel like I was watching a movie at all, and that I was just watching a fake one, and I was waiting for the realI really wanted to like this movie, I did. This story had potential. But I feel like very minimal effort was put into this film. There were some interesting ideas and tense scenes that hinted at a decent movie, but most of it was poorly done. There where times in which I did not feel like I was watching a movie at all, and that I was just watching a fake one, and I was waiting for the real one to begin. And the ending (my God, that ENDING!) was so obviously written last minute. Do not spend $10 like me and see this in theatres. If you feel like you need to see this movie asap, resist the urge, I beg you, and at least wait until it's rent-able. Expand
  24. May 25, 2012
    0
    This is ONE of the worst movies I have ever seen. Its not even worthy of watching for free on T.V.....Jumpy filming, bad acting, to many mistakes. If I tell you all that was wrong with this movie, I would have to check the box for spoilers.
  25. Jul 7, 2012
    5
    I had a rather good time watching this. It is the kind of low budget movie you know will get made over and over. Simple idea. Simple execution. Simple to follow. And easy to enjoy. In fact there's not even a need for real name actors of any kind... If you are an independent filmmaker and your uncle has a bag full of money, make this movie. It will work. Guaranteed.
    I found the script to
    I had a rather good time watching this. It is the kind of low budget movie you know will get made over and over. Simple idea. Simple execution. Simple to follow. And easy to enjoy. In fact there's not even a need for real name actors of any kind... If you are an independent filmmaker and your uncle has a bag full of money, make this movie. It will work. Guaranteed.
    I found the script to be well crafted. It didn't ask much from the audience. The problem upon which the horror theme is built is quite simple. It revolves around a nuclear disaster with enough notoriety to gain instant credibility. What of the small towns that surround the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown? Specially when we have in current news the nuclear disaster in Japan? Perhaps we should repeat this formula in its Japanese version? I'm in!
    The scares come mostly from what we don't see. A job well done by the filmmakers. They keep us wondering what the hell is out there? And they actually hold out long enough to show us and stay interested. Also, the Russian guide does a great job hinting at the fact that he knows more than he is telling these kids. And the kids themselves make good use of their roles. Believable all the way through.
    I don't want to give away the surprises. But if there was a small shortcoming, and I do insists on short, it was their practical effects budget. You'll see what I mean.
    I would have rewritten the ending slightly different. A couple of choices didn't need to overdo it, but it is believable where it is. I liked it, and I'm sure you won't be disappointed when you watch it.
    Expand
  26. Jun 23, 2012
    4
    I did not think this was a great film its pretty low-budget to be fair so it's not got much to work with so taking that in to consideration its worth a watch Hills Have Eyes comes to Russia.
  27. Jul 29, 2013
    5
    Chernobyl Diaries is far from the Paranormal Activity series or Insidious, but it is a good film in its own right. View the film knowing that it is less for the scares and more for the anxiety. Appreciate it for what it is meant to be. The acting isn't great, but the camera work and setting are absolutely phenomenal. A+ cinematography on this film. Motion graphics not so much, butChernobyl Diaries is far from the Paranormal Activity series or Insidious, but it is a good film in its own right. View the film knowing that it is less for the scares and more for the anxiety. Appreciate it for what it is meant to be. The acting isn't great, but the camera work and setting are absolutely phenomenal. A+ cinematography on this film. Motion graphics not so much, but cinematography was excellent. In regards to the end, since everyone seemed to hate it to the bones, what did you think was going to happen? For once a horror film fully realizes that sometimes actions have consequences. Though it seemed like a no brainer story-wise, it played completely original on screen and I honor Peli for that. Chernobyl Diaries is not the greatest horror movie ever made, but it is worth a watch. Expand
  28. May 25, 2012
    4
    Chernobyl Diaries continues in the vein of many recent horror flicks, relying on an overabundance of jump scenes -- replete with the often-favored loud noises -- to suggest that the audience should be scared. Uh, huh. The movie opens as three American friends meet a fourth in Kiev. Paul and Chris are brothers, Natalie is Chris's girlfriend, and Amanda is their single friend. Mostly theseChernobyl Diaries continues in the vein of many recent horror flicks, relying on an overabundance of jump scenes -- replete with the often-favored loud noises -- to suggest that the audience should be scared. Uh, huh. The movie opens as three American friends meet a fourth in Kiev. Paul and Chris are brothers, Natalie is Chris's girlfriend, and Amanda is their single friend. Mostly these traits define the characters, who are otherwise easily startled. Paul decides to take the others to see the Chernobyl reactors and nearby town. The four are led by local tour guide Uri and joined by two other tourists. When the military denies the group access, they should take it as a warning sign. As in most horror movies, they don't. Uri utilizes a little-known entryway, and soon the group has found its way into the eerie, deserted town of Prypiat. These scenes are certainly among the best in the movie, providing what's certainly the most haunting imagery. Of course the horror aspects wait just around the corner to negate some of the goodwill earned here. After an odd encounter with some wildlife, the group returns to the van to find various engine parts missing. Eventually someone wanders off, and then someone else, and so on. Though plausible character motivation is not a hallmark of the horror genre, it would be nice if there were, say, some. This is the sort of movie where audiences will want to shout at the screen while characters make the wrong decisions. The handheld camerawork does the action no favors, and a number of scenes are just too dark to see. Some thrills do pay off -- namely a well-advertized jump sequence -- but most are negated by the fact that the characters are too often too stupid to care about. The movie does not fare well in the wake of the excellent genre commentary The Cabin in the Woods. In addition to this, the use of an actual tragedy to masquerade as a horror plot comes off as crass and shameless. In comparison to Paranormal Activity -- a connection incessantly boasted in the ads -- Chernobyl Diaries is perhaps less dull though no more remarkable. Undiscerning horror fans and those looking for a few jumps may well enjoy the movie, but anyone hoping for something more will only be in for a disappointment. Expand
  29. Jun 12, 2012
    0
    This movies is not for real fans of horror movies. This movie is mix of all real horror movies. This movie does have some suspenseful parts but only near the end ,I do not recommend this to anybody,
  30. Nov 7, 2012
    5
    I was expecting a LOT more of what it could be . The setting is what maintains this movie alive because it's interesting but what drags CD is that is so predictable all around it that makes you yell your TV not by how scary it is ( that it really isn't ) but by how stupid the script is . While the acting was admirably fine and the atmosphere really accomplished what you deserved in theI was expecting a LOT more of what it could be . The setting is what maintains this movie alive because it's interesting but what drags CD is that is so predictable all around it that makes you yell your TV not by how scary it is ( that it really isn't ) but by how stupid the script is . While the acting was admirably fine and the atmosphere really accomplished what you deserved in the last minutes everything collapse and breaks the pace. Expand
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  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.