Thursday, 10 May 2012

Review - The Divide (2011 - Dir. Xavier Gens)

I am fairly cynical in my outlook but compared to The Divide, I am positively Mr Happy Optimism. I can cope with a film that contains generally unpleasant characters as long as there is  one character I can sympathise with. There are some characters that fit the bill - but they soon get killed off. Even the main character Eva (Lauren German), who is fairly likeable throughout the film despite her flaws, becomes stupidly selfish at the climax. It's not that I didn't enjoy this film, it just wore me down over time.

A nuclear attack trashes a city and survivors are forced into a basement, which happens to be the dwelling place of cigar-chomping caretaker Mickey (Michael Biehn - Aliens) who relishes blowing smoke in people's faces - sounds suspiciously like father of evlkeith. Mickey is a fairly gruff grizzled fellow and leads the group with some gentle persuasion from his axe. Kindly, he doles out beans to the other survivors (the trouser trumps must have been edited out of the final version) and provides them with water. And a septic tank for their ones and twos. Locked inside due to radiation fears things all start to get a bit fractious...

The sad thing about this film - this is where my cynicism kicks in - is that I can see that people would probably behave in exactly the way portrayed. The characters are distrustful and paranoid. There is even some mild torture involved when hidden stashes of food are discovered behind a locked door. There is one character though, who I really hope doesn't exist out there in the real world.

Bobby. He is the most disturbing on-screen creation I have seen in a long time (don't let the picture fool you, he gets way worse). He starts the film as fairly unsympathetic but by the end he becomes a monster. My nightmares are filled with images of Bobby lurching towards me in all his half-naked, mascara-laden, cross-dressed glory. Bobby makes Lupin's antics seem like entry level perversion. Michael Eklund deserves applause for introducing such a character to our psyches. 

The ending of The Divide is a non-event and will be incredibly familiar to anyone who has played a 360 FPS (yet again - down with the kids). A fair portion of the budget must have been spent on this scene so it seems a shame that creativity levels were a tad lacking. The budget for the whole film is fairly low and the director has done a good job of disguising this. Even though the majority is set in the basement, the action does occasionally venture outside of this claustrophobic location - polythene sheets - the saviour of low budget filmmakers the world over.

The Divide is worth seeing for Bobby alone, but it is too bleak for my liking. (I can't believe I just wrote that.)

If you like this you could also try:
Frontiers, The Road, Cube.

1 comment:

  1. Looks really interesting - I like a bit of polythene sheeting action.