In Soviet Russia, Footage Finds YOU! Chernobyl Diaries Review, Part One

21 Jun

It’s a dark and stormy night, I’m completely alone, in comfy pyjamas, about to review the notoriously dreadful Chernobyl Diaries, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.

Hit it.

Pictured: An average day in New Jersey.

Chernobyl Diaries is actually a movie that used to be a pretty big deal a while back! And by that, I mean that I actually heard of it a couple of times, thought it sounded stupid, and after that, never again. And now that it’s on Netlix, I’ll finally get to see whether or not I was right!

(I mean, of COURSE I’m right, it’s a fucking found footage film, but still.)


Our film opens with some obnoxious twenty-somethings assing around Europe, filming themselves being asses. And of course, they’re utterly insufferable, and of course, they’re all super-model attractive, and of course, it’s all in a blatant attempt to make us care about these utter wastes of human beings. Ah, yes, it’s the Things I Cannot Fucking Stand In A Horror Movie Triple Word Score.

It’s two guys and two girls, and while the girls are away, the guys discuss… hooking up with chicks?! Oh, come on! THIS IS JUST HOSTEL TWO, ELECTRIC BOOGALOO! 

*rubs temples slowly*

Here, lemme make this exceptionally clear: There. Are. More. To. Men. Other. Than. Their. Cocks. So, when you show men talking about banging women, you’re not making them relatable, you’re just showing us that when these abysmal motherfuckers die, all we’ll be losing is nature’s way to KEEP MEAT WARM!

Anyway, while one of the guys is being gross and terrible, the other guy is talking about proposing to his girlfriend! Gotcha, so now we know which one we’re supposed to sympathize with. Thanks for making it as clear as possible, we really couldn’t figure that out on our own.

We cut to the four exiting a club, and… hey, what the hell is going on with the footage? The camera weaves and wobbles like it’s SUPPOSED to be a found footage film, but they’re stopped showing what character is holding the camera! Well, heh heh, funny story… it’s a found footage film so lazy that it didn’t feel like featuring a character holding the camera!  There isn’t any camera, it just acts like it! It’s a found footage film without any fucking footage to find!


Yeah, see all that? Yeah, all in yo’ pants.

URGH. Anyway, while the guys and gals wander home drunkenly, they wander in to a gang of leather clad ruffians! Who… proceed to wander away. Well, gee, thanks for showing up to the plot. Pick up your complimentary fruit baskets at the door.

The next day, at a cafe, the Bad Boy pitches the plot of the movie. See, he knows this guy, Yuri (who has a van) who’s going to take them to… Chernobyl, to examine the city left behind after the citizens evacuated from the nuclear meltdown! To take some pictures, you see. Which, to be honest, I was all ready to get up on them over how stupid it is to go traipsing around the radioactive wasteland…

… But it turns out that nowadays, despite the mutations of the surrounding life, things are relatively safe. I mean, the radiation levels aren’t HEALTHY, but you ain’t walkin’ away with an extra limb.

(Assuming my information is CORRECT, mind. I’ve been doing as much reading as I CAN do on this budget, but you people don’t pay me enough to research long and painful death. Or, as we call it around here, E.T. The Porno.)

After they vote to go ahead with the Yuri Survival Tour, they pop off to Yuri, who is charmingly scary and Russian, and two other tourists pop in! Oh, come on, more annoying fucking twenty-somethings?! Where do they grow them?!

Anyway, Yuri and the six tourists hop inside the Yuri Super Survival Van and drive over to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone! Basically, big area around Chernobyl with a security checkpoint to make sure no contaminates or Super Mutants fuck with Belarus. Of course, I know that because I researched the fucking place! These jackasses wonder “why would there be guards around Chernobyl?”.


Because of some “maintenance”, the guards aren’t letting Yuri in, but he’s an ex-special forces cool Russian guy, so he knows the back door! Which… yes, because after getting restricted from a radioactive wasteland because you know people are going to be in there, the best thing to do is find ANOTHER way in! I swear, if somebody flat out fucking told you that this place is full of ghost-rapists, you’d still insist on walking around with your pants down and a ouija board around your cock.

… Don’t ask how you’d manage that.

They make it through the border, and find their way to Pripyat, the city that the families of the reactor workers lived in! Yuri stops by a river to pull a gag on the stupid tourists, and they even spot a mutated salamander! And no, Chernobyl doesn’t have any radioactive salamanders. I checked. Unless that wasn’t supposed to be a salamander, just some guys lungs that they stapled legs to.

First stop on the trip is straight in to the heart of Pripyat! Annnnnd of course they immediately run in to the ferris wheel that always shows up in Pripyat photos. I mean, come on, face it, Pripyat. You’re a monument to fuckin’ with radiation and all that, but all anyone is going to remember you for is being a version of Silent Hill with a ferris wheel thrown in.

If this movie features Pyramid Head, I’m walking out.

They wander silently through the ruins for a while, because trying to establish mood is HARD YO. They even run in to a dead mutant dog, because look, we’re almost half an hour, something scary should PROBABLY start happening! What’s that? Nothing? Just going to continually wander around and look at peeling wallpaper. Okay, that’s… that’s cool.

Yuri explains the backstory some more, like he’s talking to third graders, and even has to explain to one of the tourists that trying to take something highly irradiated from fucking Pripyat is going to get you deader than this film at the box office. I mean, come on, jackass! You’re not in danger NOW, but that’s only because you’ll be here for such short periods of time! Even taking a tiny watch with you is a death wish! Anyway, while the tourists are being all touristy, Yuri hides in a little side room, where he finds… a still smoking fire.



Oh, this is just double-plus un-good.

Yuri reacts with the best acting thus far, with a nice facial expression that perfectly encapsulates “terror”, “confusion”, and “desperate need to get the hell out of here”. But he’s still the only person who knows what what to do here, so he remains calm and advises that they should all probably leave, until they hear something else walking through the apartment building. Everyone sneaks around to find it… until they find a fucking radioactive bear.

Well. Way to jump from “subtle and intriguing plot point” to “we’re not even trying any more”. Do you have a fetish for completely disappointing the people around you, or is it just a fucking habit at this point?

6 Responses to “In Soviet Russia, Footage Finds YOU! Chernobyl Diaries Review, Part One”

  1. Tim Hurley June 22, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    ‘I swear, if somebody flat out fucking told you that this place is full of ghost-rapists, you’d still insist on walking around with your pants down and a ouija board around your cock.’ —- That’s gold right there. Also, nice use of the ‘In Soviet Russia’ meme. 🙂

    Didn’t like the movie myself (this is one of those things I end up watching at like 2AM some night I can’t sleep), but the giant bear rampaging through the building was pretty cool. Some okay jump scares.

    • averystrangeplace June 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

      I… I really didn’t want to say it, but yeah, that giant bear scared the fuck out of me. But, you know, I can’t let anyone know that. I’m just too cool. Fo’ shizzle.

    • Tim Hurley June 22, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

      Funny thing is, I wanted to remember it being a giant mutated deer, for some reason. I suppose watching stuff in the wee hours is not conductive to accurate memorization.


  1. Radiation And Other Drugs: Chernobyl Diaries Review, Part Two | A VERY STRANGE PLACE - June 22, 2014

    […] Previously, on Chernobyl Diaries: Yuri the Wonder Russian is taking a group of bland and annoying tourists (who I think are supposed to be the main characters, be very afraid) through Pripyat and in to Chernobyl! But their first stop has led them to a still smouldering fire, despite the fact that nobody should be able to live in the Danger Zone for long, as well as- […]

  2. From Russia With Radiation Poisoning: Chernobyl Diaries Review, Part Three | A VERY STRANGE PLACE - June 23, 2014

    […] Previously, on Chernobyl Diaries: Now that the only interesting character in the film is dead, we’re stuck with six annoying tourists stranded in Pripyat, surrounded by assorted radioactive wildlife! And, of course, the dreaded “Monster-That’s-Slightly-Out-Of-Focus”, which I think means that it’s actually Bigfoot. […]

  3. A Radiologist’s Wet Dream: Chernobyl Diaries Review, Part Four | A VERY STRANGE PLACE - June 24, 2014

    […] Previously, on Chernobyl Diaries: Okay, so, we have four tourists still up and accounted for, which with twenty minutes to go, means these people have better start dying fast. And they go on a wild goose chase, trying to hunt down one of the missing schmucks, which ends up leading them directly in to a big outdoor circle, surrounded by goons! […]

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