MOVIE REVIEW: The Divide

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Film: The Divide
Starring: Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia
Directed by: Xavier Gens

The end of the world may not happen on December 21, but if political tensions rise much further it may be man that ultimately wipes the planetary slate clean. Xavier Gens’ new horror film The Divide takes this idea and runs with it, trapping a group of American survivors in a basement following a nuclear fallout. Rations are low, tensions are high, and audiences will probably find themselves yearning for a good reason to care about any of it.

Wasting no time setting things into motion, The Divide takes roughly ten seconds to launch into the end of the world. It is a day like any other in near-future New York City when a nuclear attack hits and all hell breaks loose. People scream, buildings crumble, and we follow the residents of an apartment building as they attempt to find some place to hide. Nine of these residents, including the landlord, take shelter in the basement and seal off the remaining civilians to fend for themselves. Those left outside pound on the door and scream for what feels like minutes, but things soon fall silent.

Once our survivors get a grip of what has taken place, they begin to survey the area that will serve as the setting for the rest of this near two-hour film. Mickey the landlord is familiar with the area and shows every room except one which he claims is his (and off limits). The group goes along with his instructions, still shaken from recent events, and Mickey supplies everyone with beans and water for rations.

It is at this point in the film that The Divide begins to struggle. Trapped in a room they do not know when they can leave, our survivors first feel brought together by tragedy before quickly becoming “divided” with thoughts on how they should handle their situation. This works as a great plot thickener, but the presence of an outside force I will not detail in this review, coupled with continuing outbreaks of internal struggles for power amongst the group pulls the film in two very different thematic directions without once giving the audience reason to feel to concerned for either. You see their struggle, but never once have a reason to respond to it.

The Divide is film with great ambitions and a slightly above average script. It rarely rises above being darkness for the sake of darkness, though some extra twists do keep things twitching just enough to be considered “lively.” Given a ten-page cut and a bit better direction, this film could have been something great, but instead it is just another “January junker” that few will remember by year’s end.

Review written by: James Shotwell (Follow him on Twitter)

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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