When a catastrophic nuclear attack hits New York and devastates the big apple, nine survivors seek refuge in a basement apartment building bunker. Thinking they survived the devastation of the atomic blast, they soon realise it is only the beginning of the horror. Trapped in the bunker and supplies dwindling away with no sign of any rescue, the bunker becomes a prison for the survivors. As tensions flare and their sanity begins to descend into madness, the threat of each other becomes fair greater than diminishing provisions. A post-apocalyptic horror directed by Xavier Gens, The Divide shows how humanity can turn from honourable citizens to psychotic psychopaths when trapped in close quarters and rescue is hopeless. It seems ‘the lucky ones died in the blast’.
There are no heroes in this film, only survivors. This claustrophobic, catastrophic post-apocalyptic horror shows us how moral decisions to stay alive are straight away thrown away when faced with death. When civilisation comes to an end, so does our sanity. Xavier does a brilliant job in creating a claustrophobic atmosphere that slowly builds on the tension with the survivors. The catastrophic element is not only witnessing the desolations of New York but also perceiving the annihilation of humanity both physically and psychologically when watching the group torment each other. While the bunker is a sanctuary from the ruins above, it eventually becomes a tomb of desperation, hopelessness, loss of humanity and madness.
No matter how pessimistic and negative the film may look on humanity, The Divide shows a realistic perception on what civilisation would do when faced with pandemonium mayhem. With a mixture of sci-fi, horror and psychological thriller, Xavier shows the grim reality in a violent and disturbing way. The cinematography shows how even in the most chaotic and traumatic of places, can be beautifully captured in the most confined places. The most gripping aspect of Xavier Gens The Divide is the disgust in humanity and how low a group of people may go to survive. Gens would rather see them suffer than seek salvation.