Film / Chernobyl Diaries

Chernobyl Diaries is a 2012 Horror film directed by Bradley Parker, produced by Paranormal Activitys Oren Peli, and starring Jesse McCartney, among others. It is based on the book The Diary of Lawson Oxford, also written by Oren Peli.

The film follows a group of tourists exploring the ruins of Pripyat, the town just outside the Chernobyl power plant. After managing to make their way into the city, the tourists and their guide are periodically assaulted by unidentifiable monsters that threaten the lives of all characters involved.

Tropes featured in Chernobyl Diaries include:

  • Artistic License Physics: Radiation doesn't cause the kinds of mutations seen in the film not to the dogs, not to the fish, and certainly not to people....
  • Artistic License History: Despite the Soviet Government's track history of indifference to their citizens, everyone was evacuated from the surrounding area.
  • The Backwards Я: On one version of the poster, which if pronounced in actual Cyrillic would read "Sneyapovul Diayaies"
  • Bears Are Bad News: Double Subverted; the bear doesn't do them any harm. However, it foreshadows the arrival of much greater dangers.
  • Cat Scare: Double subverted with the bear, as it's not the half-expected small animal, but also doesn't attack.
  • Dwindling Party: Everybody's dead by the end of the film.
  • Found Footage: The group watches a video on Chris' cell which uses the style of Found Footage films at one point, giving the survivors an idea of what they might be up against.
  • He Knows Too Much: Amanda gets thrown to the escaped patients at the end because she knows they exist.
  • Idiot Ball: After the van is sabotaged, the group sits inside at night with the dome light on. Not only are they draining the battery with no nearby options for a jump start, but make it near impossible to see what's outside, and the light would at the very least attract the feral dogs Yuri mentioned only come out at night.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The whole thing is really Paul's fault, but he does care about his brother.
  • Last Stand: Offscreen, a Russian soldier has one when he tries to fortify himself inside an abandoned bus.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: So your little brother is going to marry his fiance! Congratulations, now let's force him to go on a tour of Pripyat instead of someplace more romantic, complete with armed Russians soldiers trying to make sure no one goes in, and get him and the woman both killed while you're at it.
  • Non-Indicative Title: There is nothing in this film could be considered a diary, record, or account of any sort. It isn't even a Found Footage horror film, though it is shot like one.
  • Only Sane Man: Chris, to an almost ridiculous extent.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: Yuri dies offscreen, but his corpse gets by far the worst treatment.
  • Sole Survivor: Subverted. Amanda is the last of the main cast to remain alive, but not for very long.