The Divide


Nuclear survivors go a bit 'Lord Of The Flies'

When an unnamed apocalypse strikes, the residents of Lauren German’s tower block take refuge in janitor Michael Biehn’s basement bomb shelter.

Problem is, he’s crazy, and soon everyone else is too – shaving their heads, attacking each other and generally turning a bit Mad Max 2.

Mixing vague sci-fi with hardcore horror, beautiful cinematography with ugly nihilism, Xavier Gens’ (Frontier(s)) impressively grim film has points to make about post-9/11 militarism, but you get the sense that humanity disgusts him so much he’d rather leave his characters to the roaches.

By the end, you may agree.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • morris

      May 19th 2012, 11:14

      A rather dismissive review for what is actually a very good film. I don't feel Xavier Gens is disgusted by humanity, but he does present it warts and all in an unflinching and brutally honest way. Biehn's character is not crazy, just hostile and paranoid. But who wouldn't be under the circumstances? Agreed, the cinematography is beautiful. Gens manages amazing style on a budget. The music was remarkable too. Deserves more than 3*** in my opinion.

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    • NickyC

      Dec 4th 2012, 15:36


      I disagree and having seen this last Sunday, I have to say this is not a very good film at all. 2 stars maximum. The idea that this is a 'warts and all, unflinching and brutally honest' look at humanity is as pretentious as it is naive. So is Gens' film. The director clearly thinks that his understanding of story structure is more advanced than it is and he makes some glaring mistakes in his execution that boils his film down to boredom, cliche and nastiness for its own sake without the emotional context that would make it stick in the audiences mind and stomach. He fails to realize that in order to show humanity being lost, you must first show humanity, otherwise there's no humanity to be lost in the first place and no arc to the story. In this film, everyone's a nasty, selfish, squabbling b*****d from beginning to end, so who cares what happens to them? This is a novitiate blunder that reduces his characters to caricatures, which is exacerbated by forced emotion in the acting and clunky, improvised dialogue that the director should be steering his cast away from. Events outside the bunker are also totally, completely unbelievable. What government would spend so such money and manpower doing THAT? It makes no sense at all. Going further, there's the fact that there is no clearly defined protagonist. If there is a protagonist it's Lauren German's character ... but only because of the ending and the fact that her face is on the s*dding poster. We know nothing about her at the beginning, nothing in the middle and even less at the end, so why would anyone care if she survives or not? To top it off, the film is not even scarey because it has no believable interaction between its characters. You don't think for a second that these are real people. It's all just a performance and without the ability to suspend disbelief it becomes merely an episodic string of staged atrocities (which aren't even that hardcore. Syriana has a more gut-wrenching finger scene if you ask me) and 45 minutes in it degrades to reportage and you're waiting for the end so you can go get a beer. This film wants desperately for you to come away from it "thinking" but in order to do that it would first have to be compelling. But it's just boring. You may think for a little while afterwards as you try to figure out what it all means. But then you'll realize that the script has no meaning because the writers didn't put any in. This is bollocks disguising itself as art.

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