Chernobyl Diaries

Grueling horror exercise in which a quartet of young Americans abroad (Jonathan Sadowski, Devin Kelley, Jesse McCartney and Olivia Taylor Dudley) get more than they bargained for when they hire an extreme-tourism travel guide (Dimitri Diatchenko) to take them to a Ukrainian city that had to be instantly evacuated in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and that has remained ostensibly deserted ever since. When their vehicle is mysteriously sabotaged, they, their dodgy docent and two of his other clients (Ingrid Bolso Berdal and Nathan Phillips) find themselves stranded amid radiation, predatory wild animals and an even more sinister source of danger the embattled ensemble only gradually come to understand. In his feature debut, director Brad Parker conjures up the occasional jolt. But unlikely plot elements and largely unsympathetic - and shallow - characters work against audience involvement. Gruesome scenes of the wounded and the dead, moreover, together with a barrage of foul language from the jittery and the doomed, make this morally unsuitable for most.

Watch out for: Intermittent but intense violence with gore, a few uses of profanity, pervasive rough and crude language, occasional sexual references and an obscene gesture.

Rated: The Catholic News Service classification is L - limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R - restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 1970