Is it the fear of the possibility that makes Urban Legends so potentially terrifying? Or perhaps it could be that some Urban Legends have root in true tragedy that inspires fear.
Chernobyl was one of the greatest man-made disasters of the 1980s. Reactor #4 exploded in 1986 and many people despite the sudden mandatory evacuation still died because of the alleged delay. While it remains largely uninhabited some of the original residents have returned. (according to Wikipedia). Yet when Destination Truth was allowed into Pripyat to investigate alleged paranormal activity it was isolated and still appeared to be completely deserted.
Unlike what the characters in the Chernobyl Diaries were told they would not need radiation suits or any preventive medicine to enter what would be the fall out zone. Josh Gates and his team were told by the military and their chaperones that they would indeed need to take something to help prevent radiation poison.
So what adrenaline and paranormal junkie would not want to see a large metropolitan city abandoned? Based on the box office sales of Will Smith’s version of I am Legend, the answer is in the millions.
Which, just a guess, would be the reason leading viewers into picking up the Chernobyl Diaries starring former teen star Jesse McCartney…?
McCartney’s character “Chris” and his girlfriend Natalie plan a trip to visit Chris’ brother Paul who has relocated to the Ukraine. It was supposed to be a couples' trip with Natalie’s best friend Amanda, and Amanda’s boyfriend. Unfortunately for Amanda the boyfriend dumps her three days before they were supposed to leave. So Chris is protective and wary of his brother’s attentions toward Amanda and helps keep him at bay. Paul, is a self-described, “screw up” who always seems to get Chris’ character in trouble with no means of getting out unscathed. This should have been an indication for all parties involved to not follow him into Chernobyl with a retired Spetnaz operator named Uri who tends to work alone. Another indication that things should not go any further is when the soldiers restricting access to Chernobyl tells them they cannot enter until further notice. Yet, Uri having possibly worked and trained in this area knows a different unguarded route to the city. Chris tries to talk them out of going to Chernobyl because of the military’s unwillingness to let them in the secured route.
Chris is outvoted by everyone including Natalie and they sneak into the city. Things are fine but even Uri doesn’t want to stay in the abandoned city after dark. One of the other men, either Australian tourist, Michael or Paul mentions the urban legend that perhaps not all of the residents escaped the disaster and have been living diseased and breeding like animals the entire time. Not something you want to hear when you find out that the engine has been destroyed by something other than the rabid abandoned dogs or the bear that somehow found its way into one of the buildings. Uri decides he is going to investigate and tells them they will be glad he brought it, thinking that all there is are rabid dogs and other assorted wild animals……until Chris decides to follow him to help. He tries to explain that it wasn’t just dogs that attacked him…..they spend all night in the van with lights off to keep from attracting the dogs. Chris can’t be moved so they decide to try and find a way out or cables so Michael can fix the van.
Yet when they returned the van has been overturned and partially destroyed. Chris and Natalie’s capture was recorded on her cell phone to further the storyline. One by one the tourists are picked off until Paul and Amanda are chased into the reactor by what, they are not entirely sure. They began to suffer from radiation poisoning. Amanda’s face begins to melt in places and Paul goes completely blind.
Does anyone survive in this movie; only as a technicality... The bizarre twist comes when the Russian Military shows up in protective suits warning them to stay where they are. The truth within the movie is that some of the residents did get left behind. But what exactly was it that the Soviets were cooking up prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall? Those tourists who were killed by these ‘poor souls’ became one with them. They were able to call to Paul and Amanda with the voices of their friends, especially Chris who tricked them into coming to him. Do zombies reside in Chernobyl? Is this the reason for such high military security even after decades of it ‘cooling off?’
It would appear as though Chernobyl Diaries was written with this mind blowing thought in mind. For decades the outside world did not know what went on behind the “Iron Curtain.” The atrocities that Hitler made known to the public were horrifying. Who is to say that Stalin was not worse? Yet, we used him as an ally in World War 2……