There are some moments of unnecessary melodrama that mostly contains a maddening amount of shouting, but the overall concept and execution of The Divide is spectacular. With all of the post-apocalyptic visions in recent cinema, The Divide takes a unique approach which is able to simplify the vision in a claustrophobic manner. Survivors of an unexpected nuclear attack by an unknown enemy are forced to barricade themselves in the basement of an apartment building in hopes of surviving.
Some of what happens in the basement over time is rather predictable for anyone with a little bit of an imagination or previous viewing experience with post-apocalyptic films. Amidst this expected moments, however, are some shockingly unique and unexpected sequences. Even more fascinating is the film’s unwillingness to commit to any one genre. While it has elements of horror and suspense along with drama and melodrama, there is also a little bit of science fiction and action thrown into the mix. All that is really missing is humor. At just over two hours, this is a grueling viewing experience which may be too intense for some. Genre fans owe it to themselves to see this film, though it is just short of spectacular.
There are nine strangers trapped in the basement together. They are both fortunate and unfortunate enough to have a resident superintendent living in the basement, who just happens to be an apocalypse fanatic. He has the basement stocked with food and water, though the provisions were meant for him and not all of his guests. The reality of having to share his supplies with ungrateful tenants unnerves him, causing problems with some of the more riled up survivors. Milo Ventimiglia (“Heroes”) is especially frightening in the transformation as time passes within the basement.
The Blu-ray includes an audio commentary with director Xavier Gens, as well as actors Michael Beihn, Michael Eklund and Milo Ventimiglia. There is also a trailer, though the highlight is simply having this visual spectacle in high definition.