Blu-ray Review “Chernobyl Diaries”

Actors: Jonathan Sadowski, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Jesse McCartney, Nathan Philips
Directors: Brad Parker
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Run Time: 86 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

When I first heard about “Chernobyl Diaries”, I thought it was just another Summer horror movie.  Then I saw that it came out of Oren Peli, the man behind “Paranormal Activity”, I became immediately interested. He serves as both co-writer and producer and this film. and the man known how to do reality-horror right! “Chernobyl Diaries” is not another found-footage film though and takes a different (and cool) route from the “Paranormal” series.  There are a few good jumps here and thought harshly criticized during its theatrical release is not as bad as everyone says.  Good watch for Halloween season.

Another cool aspect of this film is where it was shot, this they were unable to film in the real Pripyat since there is still-present nuclear dust from the Chernobyl disaster, they shot in  abandoned an Soviet Air Force Base and in underground tunnels used as Nazi headquarters in World War II under Belgrade, Serbia.  We also had the chance to chat interview quite a few people from this film including the director Brad Parker, co-writer/producer Oren Peli and star Jonathan Sadowski.  Click on their respective names, if you want to hear the inside scoop about the film.

Warner Bros’ delivers a really nice release, within its Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Digital Copy combo pack.  The film looks sharp in its 1080p transfer in its 1.85:1 original aspect ratio.  This works really well with the film’s locations as well.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works well with the score and the suspense. The special features on the disc are decent overall.  The main extra here is the alternate ending, which is pushed as a big deal on the cover of the box.  It is decent but I still prefer the theatrical ending…yes I do.  There is one deleted scene included, also nothing special.  The last two features are neat though, including a informerical for “Uri’s Extreme Tours” and a viral video for “Chernobyl Conspiracy”.

Official synopsis: The film follows a group of six young tourists who, looking to go off the beaten path, hire an ‘extreme tour’ guide. Ignoring warnings, [their guide] takes them into the city of Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, but a deserted town since the disaster more than twenty-five years ago. After a brief exploration of the abandoned city, however, the group soon…[realizes] that they are not alone.

Own it on Blu-ray Combo Pack or Digital Download 10/16
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