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Mixed or average reviews- based on 131 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 131
  2. Negative: 45 out of 131

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  1. Feb 18, 2014
    Simply aweful. The movie itselfdragged on and on despite its relatively short run time. To be clear it is not found footage, it's just bad filming. I had high hopes for the movie as Chernobyl is a very unique setting, however that is where the uniqueness ends. If you've seen one bad horror movie, you've seen this one. Any difference would be that there aren't actually any scary parts or suspense. Many have said it's a low budget film as though that's an excuse, but i have seen scarier movies on YouTube. The acting was meh but that's probably more a consequence of the bad writing. The characters seem to be competing with those from Scary Movie for idiocy. If there is an upside, it's that the movie is so bad it makes it easy to miss some of the many plot holes. The mutants are strong enough to filp a van over and roll it at least a hundred feet but cabt push a door open? The guy with the broken leg runs quite a ways back to the van but then cant walk? At one point the group walks for 5-10 minutes in one direction but then it takes them at least 6 hours to go back the same distance. There are numerous times when things like flashlights just appear in the characters hands. Not to mention the idea that spending 3 days within 1/2 a mile of Chernobyl should have made them all very sick. This movie is bad from start too finish, don't waste your time watching it. Expand
  2. Jun 10, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I found the first half of the movie good. If it would have stuck with the first half, and continued as a documentary, this movie would have been a 9 or a 10, easily. The second half of this movie is frustrating, with bad camera angles, and constant sprinting from zombies, something which is being overused. The idea was great, even with the zombies, and this movie had a lot of potential. How the movie was presented was close to pathetic, and it was just frustrating seeing the wasted potential of this movie. Expand
  3. May 1, 2013
    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.
  4. Apr 23, 2013
    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 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
  5. Mar 16, 2013
    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.
  6. Jan 5, 2013
    Well i know that Metacritic is giving us the 5000 maximum character to write our reviews. But for this movie i think i don't need 1000-5000 characters to write the review of this movie. This movie is a total crap, didn't live up to it's expectation. Bad acting, really not scary at all, and stupid execution. And i think this movie gives all of us a very valuable lesson, and that is: TO NOT GET EXCITED VERY QUICKLY WHEN YOU SEE THE TRAILER OF THE FILM. Expand
  7. Jan 4, 2013
    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.
  8. Jan 1, 2013
    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
  9. Oct 20, 2012
    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.
  10. Sep 30, 2012
    Whilst there are a few moments where tension is built nicely, the fact that the only interesting thing about the film atall is the setting says a lot. A forgettable breeze of a horror movie that packs a few moments of brief tension, but no actual scares to back it up.
  11. Aug 8, 2012
    What I enjoyed the most, was the complete lack of logic, no plot, bad acting and less brain then Paris Hilton has
  12. Aug 7, 2012
    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
  13. Jun 27, 2012
    Nothing. Nothing for 90 minutes. Characters completely stupid, half movie is useless and the other half is irritating. What a waste of a beautiful set as can be Chernobyl was. Annoyng.
  14. Jun 24, 2012
    An interesting concept with flaws with the actors as they unravel to become the most annoying and dumb characters ever to be in modern day films. I found myself in tense situations because of some of the interesting choices of "freaks" and "creatures". But overall vastly flawed.
  15. Jun 23, 2012
    I didn't see it. I won't see it, ever. Why? Over 350,000 people were evacuated from their homes after this catastrophe. Deaths and birth defects and cancer still occur to this day. How would we feel if some B-list Russian director made a cheesy film about September 11? Would you support him by seeing it?
  16. Jun 23, 2012
    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.
  17. Jun 12, 2012
    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,
  18. X0R
    Jun 11, 2012
    While this was filmed really well, it was an awful movie. I felt guilty later since so many people suffered from that incident, and here I just paid $$ to watch basically a spoof on a tragic event - - wished I would have donated the money to a charity instead.
  19. Jun 5, 2012
    Besides the point of it taking a controversial stance of actually daring to touch the already sensitive subject of Chernobyl, it doesn't give any love or care into it at all. We've been on this ride before hundreds of times. The ninety minutes of this was the longest two years of my life. With zombies and vampires on the rise and flooding the markets in the movie and game section I thought it would be different, I actually miss not and going seeing a zombie or vampire film that's barely passed as B-Movie now. If people want to explore Chernobyl and go to Pripyat, my advice would be to actually go there or stop by and pick up S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl for PC from 2007 or S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat for PC from 2010. They offer more entertainment and actual scares then this does while actually getting to see real time mapped landscapes and scenery from their current time. Expand
  20. Jun 3, 2012
    I realize I have nothing much too say about this movie, probably because nothing much happened. If you had told me, before my screening, that someone could make a boring mutant zombie movie, I wouldnâ
  21. Jun 1, 2012
    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 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
  22. Jun 1, 2012
    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 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
  23. May 31, 2012
    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 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
  24. May 28, 2012
    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 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. Collapse
  25. May 27, 2012
    The problem with Chernobyl Diaries is that the way the characters behave isn't true to human nature. The characters act not according to human nature, but according to the necessities of the plot. I use the term "characters" loosely. Most are one dimensional at best. They exist merely to supply the film with the necessary bodies for a body count. When characters struggle, it looks like the setup to a joke, and we laugh at them, making Chernobyl Diaries unintentionally funny in parts. There was, in fact, a fair amount of laughter from the audience at a midnight screening I attended. The largely unknown cast of actors struggle with the material, unable to flesh out thinly drawn characters. An audience member gave a forced clap at Chernobyl Diaries' end. His sarcasm was not missed; it was finally over. +1 to this sir Expand
  26. May 27, 2012
    OK so let's clear some things up. 1. Chernobyl Diaries is NOT a found footage film. 2. Chernobyl Diaries does not deserve to be in the green on Metacritic. With all of that said, Chernobyl Diaries is a bad movie but it certainly had potential. The cast is pretty stupid when it comes to making logical, life saving decisions and do everything a typical human in a horror film would do. While the situation does deem itself to be damn creepy, and at times what does happen on screen is very creepy, it's enough to really get you. The ending, while predictable and very messed up, does its job and closes the door on any potential of a sequel. Expand
  27. May 27, 2012
    In 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. Expand
  28. May 25, 2012
    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 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. May 25, 2012
    It felt like a low-budget, direct-to-video movie. How on Earth did this get a theatrical release? Also, why is it rated R? It had no on-screen violence, no gore, and no nudity. Really?! It should have been PG-13 at most. If you want to see this movie, do yourself a favor and just watch the trailer. Guess what. The trailer shows almost every scary thing about the movie. Surprise! What a disappointment. Expand
  30. May 25, 2012
    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.

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
    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
    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
    The movie wants us to find this frightening, but there's no suspense, no terrifying images.