THE DIVIDE (BLU RAY)
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Courtney B. Vance
What's it about
A group of survivors are trapped in a basement bomb shelter after a series of apocalyptic explosions ravage NYC.
Is it good movie?
The Divide is likely going to divide audiences, and I would like to use
this review as a disclaimer. This is a very well made film from top to
bottom and I consider it to be honest, unrelenting and realistic. Since
watching it, I've read that the Divide features some really uneven
acting, but I didn't notice it. I thought that Lauren German (Eva)
Micheal Biehn (Mickey) and Milo Ventimiglia (Josh) were excellent in
their roles, and the rest of the cast was certainly up to the task as
well, without noticing a weak link. Sure, Biehn was a bit over the top
at times but his role required it.
However, this is not a film I would recommend to most audiences because
it's just so damned depressing and difficult to watch. So, as a
disclaimer I'd like to state that if you can't handle some pretty
extreme situations that tend to mine the depths of human emotion and
depravity, avoid this one. It's not fun to watch and it won't have you
hooting and hollering during the nasty scenes.
Showcasing a great cast, The Divide is an honest and harrowing look at
"survival" (if you can call it that) after a (presumably) nuclear
blast. The origin of the blast isn't important. We see it happening as
the film begins, but we're not trying to find out if it's aliens or if
mutants have sprung up in the fallout.
Instead, the real monsters roaming are the humans who are trapped
together. This is a viewpoint not often examined by many filmmakers.
Yes, most apocalyptic films have tensions and people who don't like
each other, but the thought of being trapped in one area with people
for the forseeable future (and likely until death, if you think about
it) is truly terrifying and that's what this flick shows.
I had heard great things about The Divide, so I didn't do any research
before I watched it, I slid it in knowing nothing and I'm glad that was
the case. I didn't know what to expect and what I got was a vicious
sucker punch to the gut. We've got some residents (Eva and her
boyfriend Sam, Josh and his brother Adrien, Josh's friend Bobby,and
Marilyn and her daughter Wendi) who jam their way into an apartment
building's bomb shelter basement, where superintendent Mickey is
trying to run things.
The flow of the movie is so natural that it remains believable. As
humans, we tend to think we're indestructable. A few people at the
start of the film clearly don't realize the ramifications of what's
happened. Think about how you'd react. Would you know or think to
ration food? If you had a significant other, would you stick with them
if you had doubts previously? How would you feel if you and your young
child were trapped? What if you knew where a stockpile of food was?
What would happen to you if push really did come to shove, and it was
time to get physical, knowing that mob rule was in effect?
These questions are all answered in this film, and unfortunately true
human nature is revealed early and often. I don't mean to make it sound
like we're all inherently evil, but survival instincts can be selfish
and combining these with cabin fever, different personalities and
environmental effects that are bearing down can make for a pretty toxic
I can't spoil any of the plot of this film because it's far more
shocking and compelling have no idea what's coming next. Know that no
one is safe- nothing is as it seems, almost no one can be trusted and
alliances will be made and shattered in the name of survival. Prepare
to witness some awful and heartbreaking things.Know that hope is
fleeting, and the ending to the film won't necessarily leave you with a
smile on your face.
This is a case where I think the film's tagline really summed it up-
the lucky ones died in the blast. I like films that can make me that
much more appreciative of the life I lead today, but I also know I
won't forget this film any time soon and it certainly wasn't a pleasant
watch, so take my hearty recommendation with a dose of fair warning.
Video / Audio
Video looks pretty great,
sporting a 2.39:1 widescreen transfer
representing this filthy flick quite well. Sharp looking in HD, for
Audio comes in Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and is mixed
expertly, coming in loud and clear across all channels. I was impressed.
There isn't much to see on this disc, but you can listen to an Audio Commentary with Director Xavier Gens
and Actors Michael Biehn, Michael Eklund, and Milo Ventimiglia.
These people loved making this movie and really respect one another and
surprisingly enough, talk a lot about how much fun they had making the
Other than that, you get a trailer.
I've since read a ton of critical backlash about how depraved, sick and
twisted this movie is- and it really is, so know that before you watch
it. With that said, that doesn't make it a bad movie. Sometimes the
movies that hit us hardest are ones we wish we could turn away from. We
all have a choice in what we watch, and I don't regret choosing this
one. To quote Rob Zombie, "Art is not safe", and this film certainly