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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Xavier Gens

Lauren German
Michael Biehn
Milo Ventimiglia
Rosanna Arquette
Courtney B. Vance

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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 individual.

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 sure.

Audio comes in Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and is mixed expertly, coming in loud and clear across all channels. I was impressed.
The Extras
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 movie.

Other than that, you get a trailer.
Last Call
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 shows it.
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