Blu-ray, DVD Release: Chernobyl Diaries

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Nov. 13, 2012
Price: DVD $28.98, Blu-ray $35.99
Studio: Warner Home Video

Chernobyl Diaries

Horror movie Chernobyl Diaries has only one thing going for it: It’s written by Oren Peli, the creator of the theatrical sensation series Paranormal Activity. That gets it through Disc Dish‘s requirement that a movie is “notable” to be included here. But other than the Peli connection, this film has little to write home about.

(I was one of the few who saw it in theaters, and trust me, it’s not worth the time investment unless you really love cheesy horror flicks and are desperate for some entertainment.)

Peli’s script has a decent premise; a vacation tour around a nuclear burned out town sounds plenty spooky. But that’s the film’s main talking point.

The cast is made up of relative unknowns. The tourists are played by Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Olivia Dudley, Devin Kelley (TV’s Covert Affairs), Jesse McCartney (TV’s Young Justice), Nathan Phillips (Snakes On a Plane) and Jonathan Sadowski (The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard). The six are in the hands of tour guide Uri, played by Dimitri Diatchenko.

With Uri behind the wheel of an ancient tour bus, the group arrives at the Chernobyl area and discover it’s blocked to the public today. No problem, says Uri, he knows a back way in. After a quick romp through a forest and a stop at a river with deformed fish, the group arrives in Chernobyl and look around. At the end of the day, they’re back in the bus. But Uri can’t get it started. And so begins the standard horror tropes of countless films.

Chernobyl Diaries is the first movie directed by Bradley Parker, visual effects supervisor for such films as Let Me In, Red Planet and Fight Club.

Rated R, the movie got a wide release in theaters and grossed $18 million, despite being panned by critics (told ya) complaining about everything from the direction, the script and lack of suspense. Chernobyl Diaries scored a poor 21% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomates, but that is better than Adam Sandler’s Jack & Jill, which got a dismal 3%.

The Blu-ray version of the film is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. Both the Blu-ray and single DVD include these special features:

  • alternate ending
  • deleted scene
  • “Chernobyl Conspiracy Viral Video”
  • “Uri’s Extreme Tours Infomercial”

The Blu-ray/DVD combo also offers instant streaming of the movie or download via UltraViolet.


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    About S. Clark

    Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.