Cube is a 1997 science-fiction horror film directed and co-written by Vincenzo Natali. An imaginative offering with a surreal atmosphere held back by some suspect acting and an iffy plot.
Five people complete strangers wake up in cube shaped rooms with a door on each wall. They don’t know where they are or how they got there but end up having to work together.
One of the group tells the others that some rooms contain traps and they assume each one is triggered by motion detectors. The clever idea of throwing a boot into each room to test it is used until it fails resulting in a nasty death by acid.
As the rest make their way through each room they begin to realise that them being there is no coincidence. They’re being tested and make the important discovery that each room is marked with a number. One of the group figures out that any room marked with a prime number is a trap. Easy for a mathematician.
Problems within the group begin to arise though as suspicions are aroused and personalities begin to clash. Surviving the cube is only possible if they work together, a task that begins to look insurmountable.
There is a lot to like about Cube. The premise is clever and visually it is very pleasing to the eye. There is a kind of surrealism to the design of the rooms, the traps are exciting and it feels like the characters are exactly where the film says they are.
Unfortunately, it has some flaws, ones that are hard to ignore.
The characters are mostly flat and uninteresting. You won’t care about their back-story & as the film’s plot becomes more convoluted it’s hard not to root for the cube. A few of the actors also stink up the screen with Maurice Dean Wint’s bad guy role coming across really cheesy and very tiresome by the end. Poor dialogue doesn’t help him though.
However, credit should be given to Andrew Miller who plays a severely autistic man. He leaves the deepest impression and his introduction does improves things.
Inevitably Cube doesn’t really give you the answers you want by the end. Instead running out of steam and feeling a bit pointless. By time the credits roll you may not be as impressed as you where when it first started.
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