Take a quick look at the opening scene of The Divide first:
Then read on!
Directed by Xavier Gens, and written by Karl Mueller and Eron Sheean
Starring: Lauren German (Hostel 2, Hawaii 5-0), Michael Biehn (Aliens, Terminator), Milo Ventimiglia (NBC’s Heroes), Courtney B. Vance (The Hunt for Red October), Michael Eklund (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), introducing Abbey Thickson, with Ashton Holmes (ABC’s Revenge) and Rosanna Arquette.
Tenants of a New York high rise apartment escape a nuclear attack by hiding out in the building’s bunker-like basement. Trapped for days underground with no hope for rescue and only unspeakable horrors awaiting them on the other side of the bunker door, supplies dwindling, tensions flare and they grow increasingly unhinged by their close quarters and hopelessness. Each act against one another becomes more depraved than the next. While everyone in the bunker allows themselves to be overcome by desperation and lose their humanity, one survivor holds onto a thin chance for escape even with no promise of salvation on the outside.
My thoughts on The Divide
I'll admit it, when this thing started I cringed. "Oh, no" I thought. "Another and of the world, post apocalyptic 'thriller' with flat dialog and a simple boring plot." Imagine my surprise when by the end of the film I found myself truly enjoying it!
Little, well nothing really, is known about our characters before we find them trapped in the bunker. No lives, no back stories. We learn along with the trapped cast what drives each character. What isn't spelled out for us is given in little hints that let us the audience come to our own conclusions as to their back stories. I liked this a lot. I get very annoyed with a film when everything is handed to me on silver platters without any doubts or options for debate.
Many of the stars may be more recognizable, but the outstanding performance in this one is from Lauren German. Relatively unknown, at least by this reviewer, until her recent stint on CBS's Hawaii 5-0 reboot (Yes, I watch Hawaii 5-0. Don't judge!) She is surprisingly capable of carrying a film.
Every character finds themselves having to deal with the situation in their own way. Some try to become leaders, others line up behind them as followers and still others find themselves forced to extremes and surviving only because they have no other choice. When morals and consciences begin to erode away they become easy prey.
There is a story thread or two that might make you wonder why they bothered with them at all, but they mercifully get themselves out of the way fairly quickly and what you are left with is a second and third act that continually ramps up the tension to the point of breaking until the final conclusion when it all *snaps*!
In the end The Divide doesn't so much as ask "To what lengths would you be willing to go to survive?" but rather "Will you be able to live with the consequences?"
"Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars"