Sunday, June 10, 2012

Radioactive Warning: Don't see Chernobyl Diaries. It might activate your pain-body.

I don't think I have ever written a negative movie review on this blog. Well, there's always a first time, and that time is now. Last night, we (my fiancee and I) went to see Chernobyl Diaries at a local movie theater here. I really only have one thing to say about this movie: DON'T SEE IT. Actually, this is probably not strong enough as an anti-recommendation. So let me try this again: DON'T. FUCKING. SEE. IT.

But I guess you are probably thinking: Why should I listen to you? Good question. Well, I guess that means I actually have to say more than one thing about this movie. Sigh. Okay, here goes. First, the premise: A group of young and good-looking American tourists, armed with the all-too-youthful belief that they are invincible and that nothing can possibly hurt them (because they are (a) young and good-looking and (b) Americans) are traveling across Europe. When they get to Kiev, Ukraine, they decide to go on an "extreme tour" of the ghost town of Pripyat, which is located right next to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which, as you probably know, was the site of the greatest nuclear power plant disaster back in 1986. Led by Uri, a Ukrainian "extreme tour guide" who is supposedly an ex-member of the special forces (and who, ironically, is the first person in the movie to get killed and disemboweled), the group soon find themselves stranded in the nuclear ghost town, and systematically attacked (and killed off) by a group of mutant beings/zombies/super-angry-nuclear-survivors/God-knows-what: It was never clear throughout the movie what these beings were; they just kind of appear very quickly in flashes, kill off whoever the director wants them to kill off, and then disappear, leaving our, uh, heroes in a state of extreme terror. And leaving the audience in a state of perplexed, puzzled disbelief ("WTF was that?!").

I have to admit that the initial premise was somewhat promising. But the whole movie is short on plot, and even shorter on character development. So much so, that it is virtually impossible to develop any empathy for the characters (which, if you are a horror movie fan, you will know to be an indispensable ingredient of any minimally successfully horror movie); midway through the movie, I actually, to my horror, found myself thinking, "OK, mutant beings/zombies/super-angry-nuclear-survivors/God-knows-what, please kill off these Americans already! Put them (and me) out of their misery. I mean, doesn't any American who is dumb enough to wander into this kind of place deserve to die anyway?"

Arghh... I can't believe I wasted nineteen dollars going to this movie. I'll say what I said at the beginning: DON'T. SEE. IT.


To add insult to injury, I almost got into an accident on the way home from the movie. We were driving home. As we were approaching an intersection, the car in the lane to my right suddenly swerved into my lane without any warning. Without even thinking (there was literally no time to think), I swerved into the next lane to the left to avoid hitting him (or her?). Good thing there wasn't a car in the next lane, or things would have been very not pretty. The thing is, that driver wasn't even cutting me off, although that would have been an asshole enough move on its own. We were virtually neck to neck next to each other, and he (or she?) just swerved into my lane, as if I wasn't there. Damn! Where do some people learn to drive? Maybe he (or she?) had too much to drink?

Maybe I'm being a little superstitious here, but I can't help feeling that there is a connection between watching that sucky horror movie and almost getting into an accident. To borrow a term from Eckhart Tolle, I felt that watching that movie somehow activated my pain body and brought it to the fore, attracting other pain-bodies in the vicinity. Tolle writes:

"When you realize that pain-bodies unconsciously seek more pain, that is to say, that they want something bad to happen, you will understand that many traffic accidents are caused by drivers whose pain-bodies are active at the time. When two drivers with active pain-bodies arrive at an intersection at the same time, the likelihood of an accident is many times greater than under normal circumstances. Unconsciously they both want the accident to happen."

Interesting, don't you think? You know, I really felt a big energy surge during and after the near-accident. Immediately after I swerved and avoided the accident, I was filled with many angry thoughts: Among other things, I really wanted to speed up, catch up with the offending driver, stop him (or her), shake him (or her) by the shoulders, and go, "WTF's wrong with you? Who taught you to drive this way?" Even after I got home, it took me the better part of half an hour to bring my energies under control.

Moral of the story? I don't know... Don't watch bad horror movies?


  1. I hear you. I have yet to recover from watching The Silence Of The Lambs, and I am now nursing the still open psychic wounds of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I cannot tolerate horror & violence combined with hoplessness in movies even if it is unrealistic and badly crafted. I don't think that the adrenaline in my body believes me when I tell myself it is not real, and the discomfort lingers for decades every time I recall a scene. Watching those really activates the pain body for me. It is like paying to get infected with a virus for kicks.

    1. "I don't think that the adrenaline in my body believes me when I tell myself it is not real"

      Mine doesn't, either. I don't consider myself a big horror movie fan either, even though I have, over the fans, seen a few that were good enough to justify the strain/damage to my adrenal glands (Silence of the Lambs is one). But they have to be good to justify the strain/damage: I usually read the reviews first before I decide to go to see a horror movie. Guessed I forgot to do my homework for this one. :-)

  2. Hi Nobel, I totally relate to you and S/F I dont see movies like this and I take your recommendation.

    I agree completely that they activate pain bodies, that is why they are popular, I believe in the web casts for A New Earth, where Eckart is talking to Oprah, a film documentary asks him a question weather her exposing the issues of violence in the country where she lives would be feeding the collective pain body. Tolle says that it depends how she shows it, if she is conscious she can balance the information and present it in a way that is conscious, but it is VERY EASY to go unconcsious and do movies like this which sell by prying on the anger and the need for more anger to maintain alive these monsters we carry inside...

    Great post!

    1. Yes, I also agree with Tolle that too many violent and horror movies out there are made by people with heavy pain-bodies for the consumption of people with equally heavy pain-bodies.

      Having said that, I do think that there is a conscious way to make even horror movies; such consciously-made movies have the power to awaken us to certain deep-seated issues that we have to confront and address. But these kinds of movies (and film directors) are hard to come by. And also, the audience also needs to be in a certain place spiritually, if they are to be ready for the message these movies have to deliver. Otherwise, it'll be just another slasher flick to them.