The Divide (2011)

This flick starts off fast and heavy, with a nuclear bomb being dropped on New York City.  As the tenants of an apartment building rush to escape, many realize that outdoors might not be the best place to be during a massive explosion.  So a group of 10 or so people try to get to the basement; but the super has beaten them there and is trying to shut them out.  They manage to break in, much to the super Mickey’s dismay.  They sit in this dank cellar as they listen to buildings collapsing and the city crumbling above them.  The door has been sealed shut and taped over so no radiation gets in. They are safe for now from the outside world, but they are strangers trapped in a seemingly hopeless situation.  The tension is not helped by Mickey, who had stocked this shelter for himself, and now has additional mouths to feed. Many of those mouths do not agree that they should just sit and wait for help, and that they should go outside and look for it themselves.  To open that door means death for everyone inside, that is something they eventually agree on.

But after a few days, that is exactly what happens, the door is opened, but… from the outside.  Several guys dressed like Master Chief from Halo cut their way in and start pointing guns at everyone.  One of them snatches a little girl, and the others try to kill the survivors, but the basement dwellers get the upper hand and a few of the intruders are killed themselves.  One of the members of our group dons a suit and ventures out the door only to find a hazmat area and a bunch of kids in stasis.  He is discovered and chased back to the basement, only to have the door welded shut behind him.  The group is now stuck down there for good.  With little chance of survival and their food becoming in short supply tensions are rising, before long it is like Thunder Dome down there with people beginning to act like savages.  Mickey reveals there to be a hidden supply room with enough food to last much longer, but it might be too late.  Their little society is crumbling, mimicking that of the outside world, and it seems as though there is little hope for any normal life.  Can the one girl who has held it all together amongst these crazy radiation poisoned wackos do the one thing that everyone is just trying to do: survive? Perhaps, but people will have to die in the process.

Alex’s Thoughts: As we mentioned above, this movie begins with tension, and that tension remains throughout the entire thing.  The people go from fearing what has happened to the outside world, then to these strange kidnapping guys and finally to fearing each other.  The actors do a great job keeping things going even when it doesn’t seem like much is going on in the story, from the creepy shell-shocked vet super played by Michael Biehn, the single mom turned sex slave played by Rosanna Arquette and Milo Ventimiglia as a d-bag gone berserk.  This is the kind of movie that shows what type of person you really are when all hope is lost, and apparently some people become cross-dressing murdering rapists when the shit hits the fan.  This isn’t something you can watch over and over again, but one viewing should be required for thriller fans.  Alex Rates This Movie 7/10

Tim’s Thoughts:I am a huge Stanley Kubrick fan, and his specialty is exposing the depravity of mankind. There is something I can’t help but be drawn to about these stories, and it’s kind of ironic as I am usually an eternal optimist. Unfortunately The Divide starts off really well, and you can see all of the potential as the tension builds and the desperation and boredom of these poor souls is palpable. The film takes a quick U-turn once the guys in hazmat suits show up, and then that plot thread is dropped and never mentioned again. While I don’t need to find out why the city was bombed, I feel like the characters would be asking these questions. Instead they are content to start raping and torturing each other. I would recommend the first 30 minutes of this, after that you can just turn it off, while the acting is great throughout, the plot becomes boring and the violence has no payoff. If I am going to watch mindless violence I want to at least have fun, even some of Kubrick’s strangest films (Eyes Wide Shut) have a point. Great acting but not worth the time or the effort, which is really sad to say. This had a lot of potential and it falls flat, which makes my rating even lower than it would might normally be. Tim Rates This Movie 3/10

“What you need to get is if that dust gets in here, we’re all fucked”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue.