Oren Peli started out as a software programmer before he became a horror movie magnate by directing (writing, producing, shooting) the first Paranormal Activity film, which has sense sparked a measurable growth in the vaguely defined “found footage” genre. From there he’s branched out and created a shingle responsible for more traditional horror films, but so far his more direct involvement has been mostly in the fixed camera horror flicks. So when the announcement comes that he’s gotten his latest writing effort picked up by Alcon for North American distribution, I kind of just assume it’s some form of a found footage/camcorder movie, even if THR doesn’t specify.
Called Chernobyl Diaries, it follows a group of American tourists in Europe who wind up stuck in the deserted town, Prypiat, that once housed Chernobyl’s workers before the nuclear facility’s infamous meltdown. While there they apparently realize the town is not entirely deserted.
So I’m assuming mutants because of the Chernobyl thing and I’m assuming found-footage because of the man behind it, as well as the “Diaries” part of the title. I could be way off on both sides of that coin, but I think I might be on the right track. If so it sounds like we’re getting a Euro-flavored Hills Have Eyes by way of Paranormal Activity. This will be visual effects artist Brad Parker’s directorial debut as Peli stuck to penning the script, so we’ll see if Parker is bringing in his own unique stamp or following closely in Peli’s footsteps.
The film will hit on Memorial Day weekend, distributed by WB through their Alcon partnership.