I watched this movie when I was a kid (around 2012-2013?), so my memory of the details is quite foggy. I can't even remember if I finished it (probably couldn't understand what was happening and wandered off). I hope the details I can recall are sufficient.

Here's what I remember:

  • Definitely English-speaking. Most likely American.
  • Modern-day setting.
  • During the doomsday: a large crack is shown making its way along the ground (and up a building?). This is seen by one of the main characters as he runs down a stairwell alongside a panicked crowd.
  • The crack glowed yellow.
  • A group of people end up in an underground shelter/bunker. They are the main cast. A lot of time is spent in the bunker.
  • The shelter is grungy. There are different rooms.
  • There is conflict between the people.
  • At some point (I think), an axe or sledgehammer is used as a weapon because of the conflict.
  • There's this idea (I guess the root of the conflict) of not opening the door to the outside world (I can't remember if it is a vault door, but it was certainly locked in some way). Tensions grow as some parties would like to open the door and some would not.
  • The door somehow ends up being opened (I think after a fight).
  • We expect a wasteland, but instead the "outside" has become a really sterile white lab-type interior hallway with people(?) in hazmat suits.
  • (I think) one character (or more) gets captured by the hazmat people.
  • This detail barely comes to mind, but there may be something about taking hair samples from the captured.

And that's it! I've been itching to recall the movie for a while. Thank you so much in advance for your help. :)

  • You could improve this question by going through the checklists here and editing in any relevant info you can think to add.
    – Valorum
    Oct 14, 2023 at 12:14
  • imdb.com/title/tt2131532 Hidden (2015) matches a lot of the tropes you're describing...
    – Valorum
    Oct 14, 2023 at 12:54
  • @Valorum thank you for the suggestions!
    – Scene
    Oct 14, 2023 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


This is The Divide (2011).

Survivors of a nuclear attack are grouped together for days in the basement of their apartment building, where fear and dwindling supplies wear away at their dynamic.

The film begins with the residents of an apartment building running down the stairwell into a bomb shelter during a nuclear attack on NYC. Cracks are shown running along the walls as they do so. Eight of the residents make it into the shelter before the superintendent of the building, Mickey (played by Michael Biehn), seals the door behind them, locking the other residents out. He takes charge and insists that no one must open the door until the radiation has cleared.

At around 11 minutes in, two guys try to leave the shelter in defiance of Mickey, but he grabs an axe and takes a swing at one of them, missing and hitting a wall. It's enough to convince the other two to back down.

At around 19 minutes in, the door is opened from the outside and a group of armed men in radiation suits enter and seize a young girl, taking her outside. A fight breaks out and the residents manage to kill the three men in radiation suits still in the shelter. Mickey then closes the door and seals it again.

At around 35 minutes in, one of the male residents volunteers to leave the shelter in a radiation suit to see what's going on outside and try to rescue the girl. Outside the door, he finds himself in a series of polytunnels leading to a makeshift laboratory with more men in radiation suits. They initially let him wander around freely, since they think he's one of them. On a work surface, he sees two small plastic tubs full of hair, and in another room, he finds several unconscious and hairless people sealed in upright tanks with viewing portals on the front. One of them is the girl who was seized not long before.

  • 4
    This is the movie! Thank you so much! Most of my memory has deviated over time and my details show that, so I have know idea you did it. Brilliant!
    – Scene
    Oct 14, 2023 at 13:22
  • 1
    I'd seen the beginning of the film myself and was reminded of it by your description. Not having seen most of it, I didn't initially think it was the one you were looking for, but I checked it out to make sure and realised that it did include pretty much everything you described. Oct 15, 2023 at 1:56

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