'Chernobyl' Director Kept Actors in the Dark
By ROBERT PACE
May 25, 2012
Horror film Chernobyl Diaries hits theaters today to scare the masses as they follow the journey of six tourists that journey into Pripyat, a city that was abandoned after a nuclear disaster. However, moviegoers won't be the first ones to be scared from this horrifying tale, as the actors were genuinely scared by the director on set.
"We did keep them in the dark and scare the hell out of them," director Bradley Parker revealed. "There were a lot of cases where I didn't tell them exactly what was going to happen. I'd be like, 'OK, you're scared, you got this flashlight--not sure if the batteries fully work--go down that tunnel'...They were real troopers 'cause it was terrifying. We were in really scary locations."
Parker, who made his directorial debut for the film, understood how to create the most intense scare in the film by creating lingering suspense. "Not a lot really happens for an extended period of time and it's that sense of constantly building that little sense of dread that's in the back of your brain getting bigger and bigger and more and more intense," he said. "I just worked really hard to work that out [of the audience]."
Producer and writer Oren Peli, who also created the successful horror film franchise Paranormal Activity, said that he tried to make the audience feel as though the characters were relatable. While the premise of the film (young tourists visiting a nuclear-active city) may seem farfetched, Peli tried to present it in the most digestible, realistic manner.
"The way I think we're presenting it, it actually seems plausible," he said. "They go on a spontaneous whim. They're not adventure-seekers, they just don't think it's going to be too dangerous. They're young enough to be naïve and have this sense of invulnerability, and as we get to know them we feel like, 'Yeah, maybe this is the kind of thing that I could be talked into.'"
Check out the interviews as well as clips above from Chernobyl Diaries, which is now in theaters.