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Trailer Talk: Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

April 23, 2012

CLICK HERE to go to the review of Chernobyl Diaries.

I guess it was about time somebody capitalized on the horrors left in the wake of this historical event: Chernobyl, named after the city with the poor nuclear reactor of the same name.  On April 26th, 1986, the Ukrainian power plant had a bit of a bad day when reactor 4 was getting a bit wonky from a power surge.  What ensued was an emergency shutdown attempt, a series of explosions, the fall of the Soviet economy, and ultimately (evidently) some tribal-gone-cannibal locals waiting to prey on 20-something tourists.

CLICK HERE to see the trailer.

Release Date: May 25th

This trailer doesn’t show us a whole lot in terms of estimating what kind of horror this will be.  Really, we see just enough to know that the acting doesn’t suck (actually it looks quite good for horror) and the production value is competitive.  But are there special effects—like, at all?  That’s the wild card.  Depending on the horror style they may not need any (e.g., Paranormal Activity had minimal FX).  Contrarily, movies in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre vein rely heavily on excellent make-up artists and mutant movies need solid mutant concepts that keep us from saying “hey that’s just like in that other movie with that guy in it that came out last year.”

The tour guide is charmingly funny.  He has his little Geiger counter and puts on a nice show.

What do you mean the car won’t start?

Jonathan Sadowski (S%#! My Dad Says (2010-2011), Friday the 13th (2009)) is charmingly funny and he brings that to the screen here.  Characters like his are fun to watch when the shit hits the fan.  Makes me think of Grave Encounters (2011), where the jokester finds himself freaking out as he learns “it’s not a joke.”  This flick also features Nathan Phillips (Wolf Creek, Snakes on a Plane), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (The ABCs of Death, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters), Olivia Dudley (Chillerama, The Dictator), and Jesse McCartney (Greek).

Such a lively bunch.  They have no idea…

Producer Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity director/producer; PA 2 and PA 3 producer) has a great mind for creepy suspense.  I hope he does for Chernobyl Diaries what he did for Insidious (2010) and the PA series (2007-2011).  I love slow-building, super-high tension creeper flicks like White Noise (2005, 2007 sequel).  This trailer, however, is more suggestive of The Hills Have Eyes in an abandoned fallout city—Chernobyl.  But are we going to see radiation-mutated Wrong Turn abominations or will The Crazies hunting these tourists down?  Will we see any more than silhouettes of our perpetrators throughout  the movie at all, or is this more about the social breakdown of our victems?

It says WHAT about mutant Chernobyl residents in the guide book!?!?!

Everyone knows that you never–NEVER–approach the weird little girl in the dark!

Director Bradley Parker is an effects guy-turned rookie director, which makes me think there will be less action than most hillbilly, inbred, anthropophagy-themed flicks.  His effects background and Peli’s fear-instilling skills could make for one Hell of an eerie, jumpy mood!

Don’t miss this one.  I have a good feeling that this apparently mundane-made-funny trailer represents a better movie than you might think.

RUMORMILL:   There a lot coming our way to get excited about.  1) Paranormal Activity 4 is in the works.  2) Area 51 (2012) was written and directed by Oren Peli.  He recruited only fledgling and television actors to fill his cast.  I think they lend a special something to his understated characters in creepy settings.  They’re also cheap and still trainable to his unique style.  I sooo hope this rocks.  3) Insidious 2 (2013) is in development.

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