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Film / The Divide

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"Well, my plan was to build a fallout shelter and take it easy while my pain-in-the-ass tenants barbecued above me."

The Divide is an apocalypse film from 2012, starring Michael Biehn and Lauren German.

New York is under attack. The tenants of an apartment building try to escape, but failing that try to get to the basement which the superintendent, Mickey, has rebuilt into a large and well-stocked fallout shelter. Several of the tenants make it in and are trapped in the building's sealed-off basement. The story begins.

This film provides examples of:

  • A House Divided: As stated in the movie, all groups break down into self-interest in times of scarcity.
  • Action Prologue: The movie starts directly with some sort of horrible nuclear event taking place in New York City, and the main characters trying to escape their building and ending up in the basement.
  • After the End: The whole film takes place from the moment of a nuclear attack in New York until an unknown amount of weeks afterwards.
  • Artistic License Nuclear Physics: The movie begins with a character staring directly into a nearby nuclear explosion. Said character is not blinded, nor even dazed by this, and has plenty of time to make it to a nearby fallout shelter before the shockwave hits...
  • Black Dude Dies First: Devlin (Courtney B. Vance's character) is the first to die on-screen, shot by Mickey when he discovers that Mickey had been hoarding supplies. This is if we don't count what may have happened to Marilyn's daughter Wendi.
  • Big Bad: Whoever caused the nuclear attack on NYC.
  • Book Ends: The film starts with Eva staring at the city as the nuclear explosions start. It ends with Eva staring at the devastated city in the aftermath of her escape.
    • Also, the film starts with Eva's boyfriend Sam screaming at her to escape with him out of the building during the nuclear attack. It ends with Sam screaming at Eva to free him from a locked, burning room as she escapes the shelter.
  • Break the Cutie: Marilyn on so many levels. Everybody else gets Maddened Into Misanthropy or just plain dies.
  • Closed Circle: Nobody can leave the basement because of the radiation outside. And once the soldiers of the Big Bad weld the door to the basement shut from the outside, leaving is no longer an option.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Although never explicitly shown, Josh and Bobby's interaction with each other (especially after they have gone completely insane) radiates this.
  • Downer Ending: Eva may have gotten out of the bunker, but the surface is uninhabitable, she has limited supplies, and she has radiation sickness.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: In a spectacularly Squick-inducing example, Marilyn's "clothes" once she starts being repeatedly raped by Josh and Bobby is duct-tape underwear.
  • Final Girl: Eva is the only member of the survivors to make it to the end of the film.
  • Foreshadowing: Mickey makes a magic trick with a disappearing finger to calm down Wendy. Later, during tortures, his finger is cut off.
  • Genre Shift: Starts out as an After the End movie, moves into what seems to be Science Fiction with strange soldiers and Body Horror, then full on into Apocalypse Anarchy.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Played with in an awful way: We don't know if the children that are taken by the military (including Wendi) are still alive, but if they are it's not really a comforting fact anyway.
  • Noble Bigot: Mickey is a complete Jerkass, loving the fact that he's lording it over the other basement's tenants, spends some time rambling racist Conspiracy Theorises on who nuked the city and shoots Devlin when the latter discovers he's been hoarding supplies and tries unsuccessfully to pass it off as self-defence, but we late find out that he used to be a firefighter and his wife and child were killed (probably in a terrorist attack)]].
  • Nobody Poops: Mickey in the wheelchair. He's in there at least a few days (It's pointed out that the combination on the panic room was changed "two weeks ago", so even if they are over-estimating, it's been more than three days), however when Mickey is freed from the chair there is no hardened feces under his rear. Justified by the fact that very few people want to see that, even by the standards of this movie.
  • Plot Tumor: The characters and their interaction and descent crowd out any of their curiosity about what is going on outside.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: What is done to Marilyn- Josh and Bobby taking advantage of her catatonic shock after losing her daughter.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Very little of the outside world strangeness is resolved, instead focusing on the people in the shelter.