THE DIVIDE is probably one of the best post-apocalyptic (non-zombie) films I’ve seen in a long time. I have to clarify that it is a non-zombie flick because many PA films these days contain those lovable, living dead flesh-bags. THE DIVIDE does not have them, but it is one heck of a film nonetheless.
If you are not familiar with THE DIVIDE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the Anchor Bay press release:
A sudden nuclear attack forces nine strangers into a small, decrepit apartment building basement for shelter. Trapped for days underground with no hope of rescue, and unknown horrors awaiting them outside, the group begins to descend into madness, acting out vicious bouts of psychological and physical torture upon one another. As supplies dwindle, tensions flare, and they grow increasingly deranged, each digresses into a volatile and primal state of being. As everyone in the bunker gradually sheds the humanity they once held, even the thinnest chance of escape holds no promise of salvation on the outside.
Get ready for a tension-filled ride! THE DIVIDE will have you squirming and then some. I can honestly say that I wasn’t ready for what the film delivers. It’s not just a trek into a PA scenario...it’s a downright chilling situation that is entirely possible, a dark trip into spiraling madness.
And that is what makes THE DIVIDE so frightening. Just because you survive the blast does not guarantee you will survive in the company you are with. If anything, as this film shows, the ‘true colors’ of those you are with will eventually come out, and all of the primal instincts and urges that our society has repressed will start to surface. To those people who are docile by nature, this could be a very bad thing; those who are not so docile could eventually eat them up for lunch (I guess both literally and figuratively).
Director Xavier Gens impresses once again with his striking vision and artistic storytelling. I was amazed at how he could make something like a PA bunker such a haven for both security and insanity. The cinematography screams professionalism, while much of the imagery on the screen almost portrays surrealism.
The special effects in THE DIVIDE are very good, with my favorite aspects being the PA trooper suits. These look like something straight out of a science-fiction movie, and even had me pausing the film every now and then to see if I could figure out how they made them. There’s not much blood and gore in the film, but what little we do get to see is pretty good.
My sole complaint about the film is that there are some major aspects to the plot that are never answered. For example (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT), we are never told why Wendi is kidnapped by the soldiers or what sort of containment unit they put her in. Nor are we ever told who the soldiers are, what they are doing, or why they are even there.
But part of the fun of THE DIVIDE is that you never do find out who initiated the attack or why. There is some speculation in the film, but nothing concrete is ever decided. This does not at all detract from the film, and if anything, makes it more so suspenseful in some aspects, I suppose.
THE DIVIDE is definitely a must-see, and fans of PA films will be glad to have this one join the genre. The film has won several awards and you will be able to see why after you watch it. Give this one a look for sure on April 17.