Monday, October 1, 2012

The Divide (2012)

As New York City suffers a devastating nuclear attack, eight residents of an apartment building desperately seek shelter. Mickey (Michael Biehn) is the superintendent, and his bomb shelter gives the residents their only chance for survival. Before he closes the door for good, Eva (Lauren German), Sam (Ivan Gonzalez), Devlin (Courtney B. Vance), Josh (Milo Ventimiglia), Bobby (Micahel Eklund), Adrien (Ashton Holmes), Marilyn (Rosanna Arquette), and her daughter, Wendi (Abbey Thickson) fight their way inside. New York City is in ruins, and the threat of radition sickness becomes more serious as time passes.

A surprise invasion from an unknown group of soldiers in radiation suits causes a panic amongst the survivors. After kidnapping Marilyn’s daughter, the soldiers weld the shelter door shut, and eventually, the group is torn apart by mistrust, frustration, and fear.

Director Xavier Gens provides the necessary bleak atmosphere for this film. The survivors are stuck in a deadly post-apocalyptic world with no hope, and Gens’ dark style did enhance feelings of desperation.

I don’t have any real complaints about the acting, but Michael Bien, Ashton Holmes, Abbey Thickson, and Lauren German portray the only likeable characters in this film. The Divide features some solid acting, but the other half of the cast portrays annoying characters. Sam is a whiny wimp, Devlin is just a jerk, Marilyn becomes a distraught sex slave, and when they take control, Bobby and Josh form this awkward bromance bond.

Eight people are trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, but the story devolves into a twisted calamity. The barrage of atrocities include torture, murder, rape, a teased rape scene (which is beyond creepy by the way), and locking a starved man in a room with feces. I hate to sound so nit-picky, but it would’ve been nice to see the survivors try and work together, and actually find a way out of the bomb shelter. Instead, they tried to pull a bunch of “OH MY GOD!” reactions out of the audience, but the atrocities quickly lose their shock value, especially after the torture scene.

And what about the major plot holes? The Divide leaves a lot of unanswered questions, and I can’t ignore them. First of all, and most importantly, who’s responsible for the nuclear attack? They NEVER provide any answers for this crucial question. Mickey is your typical angry, red-blooded American, and he throws out a bunch of wild accusations, but still, they never reveal the identity of the attackers.

Who are the soldiers in radiation suits? Why did they kidnap Marilyn’s daughter? And why are the soldiers experimenting on children? The soldiers have a major impact on the survivor’s future. They wreak havoc inside the bomb shelter, and eventually, they trap the survivors inside by sealing the door. But we don’t know who they are, or where they came from.

The story is loaded with a few gaping plot holes, and the missing details do hurt this film.

I wanted to like The Divide, but once the survivors descend into madness, this film just goes downhill. The story is too fucking depressing, and The Divide features one too many unlikeable and loathsome characters. The Divide tries to be a shocking and emotionally powerful post-apocalyptic horror film, but the end result is an ugly mess. My fanyboyism for Michael Biehn drew me to this film, but I’ll remember The Divide as one of Biehn’s stinkers.

If you can’t handle any sort of extreme content, you should stay away from this one. The Divide is a dark and disturbing film, that features graphic gore, brutal violence, rape, and the dialogue is very vulgar and explicit. This film will pull a strong reaction out of you, and hate it or love it, one thing’s for sure, you will remember The Divide.

Final Rating: 2/10

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