A lot of people have been calling this "The Hills Have Eyes" in Russia. I have to disagree with that. In "The Hills Have Eyes" the characters were in the wrong place in the wrong time. They didn't willing go into a dangerous area. The characters in "Chernobyl Diaries" willing went into an area known to be radioactive, with an almost total stranger as a guide. Even after being told not enter the city by armed Russian soldiers, they still went.
When the characters take such blatantly stupid actions, it's hard to feel much sympathy for them. This brings up another problem with this film. The characters are not very well developed and you never get a real sense of who they are.
|Travel with strangers into a radioactive wasteland, why not?|
There are some great locations in the movie that give a real sense of menace, and that's one of it's strengths. The abandoned urban locale is something not seen often in horror movies, and it was used very effectively here.
Another good point about this movie is its lack of gore. There are some gruesome things in the movie, but they are mostly hidden in shadows and never dwelt on. The "monsters" themselves are rarely seen except in fast glances in shadow. This enhanced their menace and mystery in my opinion.
All in all this is not a bad movie, but it doesn't really break any new ground in the horror genre either. It's also worth noting that despite being called "Chernobyl Diaries" it's not a found footage film. I have to wonder if they didn't title it this just to try and play the "Paranormal Activity" connection.