By Appointment Only
Director: Bradley Parker
Chris and Natalie, an American couple and their friend Amanda, whom vacation together, go to visit Russia to visit Paul, Chris’s brother. The idea of extreme tourism is presented by Paul. They decided to at least meet their soon to be “extreme tour guide.”
At the office of the guide, they meet Zoe and Michael, a back-packing couple and of course, their tour guide Uri. They plan to visit the abandoned city Pripyat, the former home designated to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Almost 26 years later, after the disastrous nuclear melt down, the radiation levels have finally gone down low enough where it is not-so safe, but possible to enter the city.
Uri is stopped at the gates of the city and is told they will not be allowed in, but sneaks into the abandoned city through the woods.
They explore the remains of the city until the night comes. When it is time to leave, they encounter their first problem of the evening. The van has been tampered with and they are trapped inside until morning. While they’re forced to be sitting ducks, they hear things: an infant crying, possibly a very wounded animal - they don’t know.
Chris leaves with Uri to investigate the noises, and all you see are gun shots in the night. Chris comes back alone with a damaged limb, very unsure of what attacked him. They’re forced to wait in the van until morning as the van is attacked by wild dogs.
In the morning they look for Uri, and they start to get the feeling that they really are not alone. Things can’t be just coincidental at this point.
As they learn that they are in fact, not alone and some human like creature is out there in the city, they are “herded” into the city more deeply and further into higher levels of radiation. They become trapped like mice the deeper they get, and are surrounded by more and more of these creatures.
Through out the entire film, you cannot help but feel like you're in Pripyat. It adds to the overall spookiness of what the plot offers.
Critics have said the tourists make terrible decisions as things get worse. I disagree; if you stop to think about what you would do in this situation, where you’re being potentially eaten by zombie, you’d be a bit more like a rat in a maze yourself. With all that adrenaline pumping, somebody has to be the “hero” and protect those who need saving.
This movie is not “paranormal activity,” it’s just not that type of movie. It’s a cross breed of genres: thriller, conspiracy, and what seems like documentary footage. Think “the Wrong Turn” without the inbreds and majority of the movie being in the woods.
All in all, this flick is worth seeing if you enjoy more than just seeing people torn to shreads. You will leave more curious about what’s really going on in the abandoned city, and may leave you interested enough to want to see it for yourself. I know I do - (with a radiation suit and maybe multiple ways out... just in case.)
Nikky [P] 2012
Fun Facts: Unable to film in the real Pripyat due to still-present nuclear dust from the Chernobyl disaster, Peli and his crew had to find alternatives and opted for an abandoned Soviet Air Force Base and tunnels under Belgrade, Serbia.