Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity) has returned to write the story to the upcoming horror film Chernobyl Diaries. The movie concerns a group of American tourists who visit the ghost town of Pripyat, near the Chernobyl reactor (Ukraine), the site of the 1986 Russian nuclear explosion considered one of the worst nuclear accidents in history.
Six young tourists undertake “Extreme Tourism” by hiring a special guide who drives them into the city of Pripyat, the former home of the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, but a deserted town since the disaster in 1986. After a brief exploration of the abandoned city, the group soon finds themselves stranded, only to discover that they are not alone…
The Chernobyl Diaries stars Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Nathan Phillips, and Devin Kelley. Written by Oren Peli, Carey Van Dyke, and Shane Van Dyke. Directed by visual effects man Bradley Parker.
On Saturday, April 26, 1986, reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl Plant exploded, sending a plume of radioactive smoke into the air, which drifted over the nearby town of Pripyat as well as large parts of western USSR and Europe. Areas in Belarus and the Ukraine were contaminated. Reactor 4 was enclosed in a concrete sarcophagus to trap the radiation.
There is an area surrounding the plant, with a radius of about 19 miles, called the Exclusion Zone or “Zone of Alienation.” It is uninhabited, except for a few residents who have refused to leave. The area has largely reverted to forest and radiation levels are still high (the Ukrainian government considers it a wildlife sanctuary now). The zone will not be habitable for about 20,000 years.
The “Extreme Tourism” reference in the trailer for Chernobyl Diaries specifically refers to the practice of “Chernobyl stalking”, which involves tourists visiting the zone and all the abandoned installations/homes/schools inside Prypiat. One person who made this type of urban exploration popular was Elena Filatova. (you might remember her as the cool Ukrainian motorcycle chick who took photos of the zone and blogged about it).
The Chernobyl Diaries will be released on May 25, 2012.