21 February 2012

The Divide

Directed by: Xavier Gens
Written by: Karl Mueller & Eron Sheean
Full credits at IMDb

The heroes in Xavier Gens's The Divide don't simply stumble into some prefab horror-movie depravity. The French splattermeister doesn't take the conditions of a torture porn for granted: rather, his characters slowly fashion them—all it takes is nine normal New York neighbors locked in the superintendent's fallout shelter following a nuclear attack for a matter of weeks before shaved-hairless men are living beside the bound and battered corpse of their former sex slave, trying to rape the rest of the male and female survivors. The question is whether Gens's brutality and gore have a purpose. His breakthrough, 2007's Frontier(s), was so blatantly political that its politics were inconsequential, receding behind a pointless exercise in envelope-pushing degeneracy. But I don't think The Divide is so nihilistic, perhaps because the director is working from a script he didn't write.

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