The Chernobyl Diaries was neither.
It had such potential. The idea is great. A group of five young people want to go exploring in Russia, and an “extreme tour guide” offers to take them to Pripyat, the city abandoned by the people who worked at Chernobyl. The town is set up with all the right creep factor: a broken down Ferris Wheel, abandoned apartments, broken pictures.
As they’re about to leave town for the night, the car won’t start, and they find that the wires to some car part have been chewed. So now, the six of them are stuck in an old van in a dark, abandoned town, surrounded by something.
It’s got all the right elements, right?
It just fell flat. I can’t say why I didn’t like it or what would have made it better. I just know that I was ready to turn it off about a half hour before the end of the movie, and it wasn’t a long movie. One thing I definitely didn’t like was that it was filmed using the “shaky camera method,” but none of the group were filming it. The shaky camera was for what? Effect? It was pointless in context, and did nothing to add to the movie.
Even if you’re a horror fan, I probably wouldn’t bother seeing this one, not even for free.