Box art for Chernobyl Diaries

Chernobyl Diaries

horror, thrillers

Six tourists hire an extreme tour guide to take them through the abandoned city of Chernobyl nuclear reactor workers. During their exploration, they soon discover they are not alone

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
1 out of 5
4 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5

Radioactive mutants attack in waste-of-time horror movie.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Chernobyl Diaries is a horror movie about young people who decide to tour the abandoned towns near the infamous nuclear power plant. Some of the violence, including attacks by wolves and radioactive mutants, is more suggested than shown, but the movie still has plenty of blood, gore, and dead bodies. A gun is also fired many times. Language is strong, with frequent uses of "f--k" and "s--t" throughout. There's some sexual innuendo and kissing in the beginning, as well as some drinking (and hangovers). Chernobyl Diaries comes from the creator of Paranormal Activity, but it isn't anywhere near as creative as that film or its sequels.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. What's shown, and what's suggested? Which is scarier? Why? Is the movie scary? Or is it more suspenseful? What's the difference?
  • What do you think about the choice to set a horror movie in a place where a real-life disaster took so many lives?
  • Do the characters make reasonable decisions throughout the story? What are some choices they could have made differently?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 15
    see all Chernobyl Diaries reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: First-time director Bradley Parker (working from a script co-written by Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli) understands that suggesting is scarier than showing, and confusion generates more suspense than explanations do.

- Alonso Duralde, TheWrap, Friday, May 25, 2012

Rotten: Standard-issue genre accessories (dank stairways, flashlights, overcast skies, frosty windows) abound; shocks are mild and few.

- Andy Webster, New York Times, Friday, May 25, 2012

Rotten: You'd never wish tragedy upon anyone, but at some point the characters become harder and harder to feel sorry for. Get a clue, people.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Friday, May 25, 2012

Audience Reviews

2 stars

Mutated creatures chasing unsuspecting tourists through really dark places. Been there, seen that, bought the t-shirt.

- flixsterman, Monday, June 11, 2012

0 star

In 1986, the Chernobyl disaster rendered a large portion of the Ukraine uninhabited. Although, the most contaminated areas won't be fit for everyday human life for 20, 000 years, certain areas are open to tourists who wish to derive education from the disaster. Any area that is presumably vacant, should end up being a great setting for Horror. Right? Add the fact that possible residents suffer from mental and physical deformity from years of radiation exposure, and you have a very promising premise. Throw in a van full of teenage idiots, and it should be pretty easy to produce a competent scary movie, right? Well, not so fast. Unfortunately, the undertaking was written by Oren Peli, the hack responsible for the "Paranormal Activity" franchise. I took a chance on "Chernobyl Diaries", with the slight comfort in assuming, that at least, it wasn't a found-footage movie. Although, it isn't predominately found-footage, the movie can't help but interject the useless style into the proceedings. Not that it matters, director Bradley Parker, utilizes an irritating practice, where he's always shaking the camera. I have no idea why he thinks the style is effective, but it isn't. So this might as well, have been found-footage, after all. The writing and directing went on to prove that they don't actually understand Horror... at all. There isn't even the slightest trace of suspense to distract you, from the unforgivable error of having the fatalities occur off camera. They also squander the setting, since they don't have the imagination to produce any abnormal creatures to hunt the victims. Only slight glimpses of the antagonists are revealed, and what's shown isn't threatening to say the least. "Chernobyl Diaries" is utter garbage, and a slap in the face to anyone who enjoys this genre of movies. If you want to watch a gruesome movie, with characters victimized by radiation-produced mutants, stick to "The Hills Have Eyes". Actually, the best advice I can give, is to avoid anything that Oren Peli smears his name on.

- fb100000040220993, Friday, June 8, 2012

2 stars

The story of Chernobyl has always fascinated me. It was a complete surprise to me when I finished this film to was a complete and utter turd. Great idea, but poorly executed mostly due to the script.

- itsjustme2004, Tuesday, February 19, 2013