For some odd reason, I had assumed Chernobyl Diaries to be another entry into the ever-growing found footage horror sub-genre, perhaps due to Oren “Paranormal Activity” Peli’s moniker or to the trailer’s Cinema verite feel. But imagine my chagrin when about five minutes into Chernobyl Diaries, the film hastily eschews its found footage conceit instead opting for a third person narrative. I mean it’s still the same old, same old: a bunch of stupid American tourists go to a place they shouldn’t and then get offed one by one – but, hey, at least they’re smart enough to turn their fucking iPhone cameras off as their friends get dismembered.
More so: Is this discarding of the found-footage format indicative of something larger? Could it be a sign that Oren Peli – responsible for reigniting the craze in the first place – grows tired of all that camera shaking, fourth walling breaking shtick? This was the question on my mind when I sat down with Peli to discuss Chernobyl Diaries, which he co-wrote and produced. In the following interview, Peli discusses moving away from found-footage, whether or not he feels pigeonholed by the genre, and balancing the creative and business sides of his position as writer/producer. For the full interview, hit the jump.