A group of friends travel to Europe to visit Chris’s (Jesse McCartney) brother Paul (Jonathan Sadowski) and sight see throughout London, Paris, Rome, Kiev and many other familiar and scenic European cities. In the beginning everything looks and feels normal, just four American’s seeking a fun time in another country. Chris has some special plans for his girlfriend Natalie (Olivia Dudley) when they make it to Moscow but his brother Paul has some other ideas for all of them, a trip to Chernobyl. It didn’t take Natalie’s friend Amanda long to go for the idea since it would not only be exciting but a great photo opportunity as well. So Paul books an ‘extreme tourism’ adventure with a local business man, Uri (Dimitri Diatchenko) who in turn invites another couple to join them, Zoe (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and her one month old boyfriend Mike (Nathan Phillips).
When Uri’s plan doesn’t go as planned he takes the group into the radioactive zone through a back gate. Right here is when you know something is about to go God awfully wrong. Bumpy roads, cameras out and six naïve youngsters and the mood has been set for disaster. Reactor four vaporized years ago causing the worst meltdown in history and years later nature has reclaimed its rightful home. As long as the group is out of the area in two hours all would be great and no risk of exposure. But then again we wouldn’t have a horror film would we?
Odd fish, wild animals, savage dogs, yet other than that complete silence, that is until the screams begin. Uri says he’s been coming out there for five years now. Ok, really, if so then why has everything gone wrong now! The van they drove in on is no longer working and the group must spend the night. Not a good idea especially after the man with the gun goes missing and one of the America’s is now missing chunks from his mangled leg. Still we haven’t seen anything that could explain what happened and for some reason the injured can’t explain anything other than the fact that there were many of them. Dogs, fish, people, maybe zombies! Yes the last thought makes the most sense. Nuclear reactor, meltdown, zombies, what better to eat than fresh flesh!
One by one the group begins to disappear and like “Paranormal Activity” and “Blair Witch” we the audience, get to experience two of them on video tape. Whether darkness falls or the sun rises these young adults don’t stand a chance. Or do they? Running for their lives through deserted buildings, tunnels, fields, rooms and a nuclear reactor the director does a phenomenal job of building up the tension but the writers tend to lose their way with the dialogue but thankfully for the most part the actors seem to pull off some extreme moments of believable fear making this cool and somewhat original twist on Chernobyl and life thereafter worth watching especially for those die hard horror fans like me. I tend to like most horror and when it kicks you back to originality, possible scenarios and fear of the unknown, for me it at least is tolerable to watch. I only wish that they showed a little more of the radioactive creatures but I guess that would have made for a bigger budget on an otherwise small no props needed for the most part set. I’d have to say that this film really does a good job of building intensity so I have to give it at least 2 paws out of 4. Enough to quench your appetite but not fill you up! I’m Jon Patch.