Fantasia: The Divide

Directed by Xavier Gens
Written by Karl Mueller
Cast Michael Biehn, Lauren German, Milo Ventimiglia, Rosanna Arquette, Courtney B. Vance
Produced by Ross M. Dinerstein, Juliette Hagopian, Darryn Welch

I was given a fair warning at the screening of The Divide that it would “fuck” with my head. It most certainly did. It's set in a post apocalyptic New York City that's being bombarded by enormous fire engulfed comets; the occupants of a building seek shelter in the basement of their lodging. Only a certain few are able to safely get inside of the basement while others are turned into dust.

Panic and chaos genuinely drive the first hour of the film as the viewers establish which characters are taking charge and which are being abused and taken advantage of. Just as the title entails, the characters divide into many different paranoid groups: the leaders and the ones who must be obedient or face their death. It must not be easy trying to survive the end of the world with psychotic strangers who are forcing you at gun point to chop up a dead body with a blunt axe. As the film progresses the violence and will to survive increases to an unsettling degree. People are viciously murdered and battered.

This film was intense and dramatic, the actors did a wonderful job at keeping me on the edge of my very uncomfortable theater seat; my palms were sweaty and my heart was pounding at the thought of what could possibly go wrong next. The claustrophobia and the will to survive have these characters doing anything and everything to get the hell out of the basement and into any kind of nostalgic and safe environment. The group of survivors becomes miniscule towards the end of the film but the action and paranoia never quits.

Xavier Gens did a miraculous job of keeping me feel disturbed and almost nauseous, while the actors were passionate and intense. There was humour were it was needed to help balance out all the craziness and drama. If you enjoy a good old fashion shit show survivor’s tale, with perfectly developed characters and bloody revenge then this is one film you should pick up.

4 out of 5 stars

-Andrea Boulet