The Divide (2011)
Xavier Gens newest film the Divide is a dark and unflinching look at how quickly we can lose our humanity when our survival instincts kick in. The film is a no holds bar shotgun blast to the face that will leave you shaken for days.
The Film opens up with Eva (Lauren German) watching in shock as New York is bombarded by nuclear bombs. She is quickly pulled down to safety by her fiancé Sam (Iván González) to Mickey’s (Michael Biehn), the superintendent bomb shelter. There they find out that they not alone as Marilyn, (Rosanna Arquette) her young daughter Wendi, (Abbey Thickson) Delvin (Courtney B. Vance), Josh (Milo Ventimiglia), Adrien (Ashton Holmes), and Bobby (Michael Eklund) all make it down into the bomb shelter.
Once down there Mickey makes it clear that this is his shelter and everyone’s going to follow his rules. His first rule is that no one’s going open the front door and seals it off with tape. Soon after a group of hazmat suit wearing men enter the shelter and are at first mistaken for rescuers but goes out the window once the kidnap Wendi. After fighting back the men retreat but soon followed by a volunteered Josh. After barley making it back to the shelter Josh tells them that they were performing some sort of experiment and that Wendi was gone. The men in hazmat suit come back only to welds them in setting the stage for the rest of the film that ventures into the metal depravation of man.
The whole cast is great in there depiction of how each of their characters slowly goes into madness. Their physical appearance also helps out a lot as their characters are suffering food depravation and shows that each actor is willing to go that extra step for their rolls. The pacing of the film is also excellent as the film clocks in at almost two hours but never feels as if its dragging. Gens’s shows once again that he knows how to set up a terrifying and dark atmosphere all the while creating great images that stay implanted in your head.
The Divide can be frustrating to watch as almost all of the characters are either to shellfish or too much of a coward to do anything about what’s happening. The downfall of Mickey is also maddening to watch as he is captured, tortured and held captive in his own shelter and for what, because he ends up killing one of the other characters in self-defense. The ending is also perplexing as it does leave something to be desired but none the less leaves you something to talk about after it’s all over.
After all is set and done the Divide brings up some though questions about humanity all the while maintaining a leave of entertainment albeit hard to watch at times. None the less this is a film that should be seen by anyone who has enjoyed Gens other film Frontiers or just anyone that is in the mood for a dark post-apocalyptic thriller, 3 ½ out of 5.