by Dan Fields
First published May 26, 2012 by the California Literary Review
Radioactive? Yes. Waste? Not so much.
Chernobyl Diaries is not great art. Chernobyl Diaries is not important cinema. It will probably win neither awards nor memorable acclaim. What it is, though, is a robust specimen of a very particular kind of movie. It is a midnight movie. It is a drive-in flick. It is a B-movie in the most favorable sense. It was made to be seen in as crowded and rowdy a theater as possible. It aspires to nothing more clever or edifying than exactly that. It has plenty of scares, weird atmosphere, and drawn-out suspense to fill its running time. At least once, your heart will pound in anticipation of something awful. And is that not precisely what you paid for? Continue reading