Edinburgh International Film Festival
The Divide *
WRITTEN BY KELLY RAE SMITH | 21 JUNE 2011
It’s that familiar apocalyptic theme again. An NYC setting? Check. Buildings blow, crash, and burn? Check. An agonising tale of survival? Check.
While the world around them explodes, nine people run to the basement of their apartment building where they are welded in by the space-suited army responsible for all of this, and this is where they remain for the entire film. Insanity ensues teemed with claustrophobia, hunger, and eventually mental and physical violence. There is torture, finger slicing, and several bodies are chopped up with an ax. A woman hemorrhages to death by means of repeated rapes, but not before her little girl is dramatically taken away by the perpetrators. The list goes on.
Where this film succeeds is in its bloody despair, but it’s done pointlessly, having no thought-provoking twists at all. Just one disturbing scene after another unfolds, with the gore miles easier to handle than the psychological decay that each individual experiences.
The only thing as appalling as what we (well apart from the few who simply walked out, and several more who kept their faces covered) witness, is the acting from almost all involved. It’s hard to say which offended people more.
Harrowing is done brilliantly by films everyday; this is not one of those films. Recommended to neither the squeamish nor the sane.