Horror Movie Review: Cube Zero (2004)

The third film in the Cube series begins as they all do. An unknown victim falling prey to a trap inside. Cube Zero’s unlucky opening act enters a room and is sprayed with liquid that he thinks is only water. It’s not and the end result is his liquification.

A solid start and it’s especially pleasing to see the Cube design revert back to what we saw in the first film. Although this bring a prequel, that does make sense.

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Yes Cube Zero is set before the events of the first film and is set outside the the cube as much as it inside. You can read our review of the first film here and the sequel, Cube 2: Hypercube here.

After the death of the opening character, the film shows that his fate was being monitored by two men. Eric (Zachary Bennett) and Dodd (David Huband) work for those who operate the Cube, recording footage and reporting their findings. Dodd has been doing this for a while but Eric is fairly new seemingly recruited because he is a genius.

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He’s also a little too nosey for his own good though. Constantly asking questions about what they’re doing and what is the purpose of the testing. This constantly frustrates Dodds who talks about ‘them upstairs’ with fear. He knows something and isn’t about to tell Eric.

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Eric ends up getting interested in a new set of Cube occupants especially after the pair are asked to record dreams. One in particular, Cassandra (Stephanie Moore) dreams of her capture, something that bothers Eric as it suggests she did not voluntarily enter the Cube.

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Cassandra doesn’t remember how she got there and as per usual meets a number of people in the exact same situation. Their part of the story follows the standard Cube formula but with far more forgettable characters. The real meat of the story comes from Eric’s conflict and Dodd’s desperation to keep his head buried in the sand.

Things reach boiling point when Eric witnesses the procedure for someone who has reached the cube’s exit. Realising that this isn’t what he signed up for he enters the cube himself to try and help the survivors, in particular Cassandra.

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Eric’s bold move sees one of the Cube’s supervisors come from upstairs to take care of the problem and this is where the film is derailed. The character Jax played by Michael Riley is cartoonish and silly, making the whole cube concept seem like a joke. His attempts at being sinister come across like Rik Mayall and once you see it, you can’t help but notice it in every facial expression or line of dialogue spoken.

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It’s a real pity as Cube Zero offers a deeper peek behind the curtain. However, what we see isn’t particularly enjoyable. Something as crazy, unique and horrifying as the cube shouldn’t come across as a weird joke but it does.

After Jax’s introduction it’s hard to get back into the film. Eric meets up with the remaining survivors and tries to help them. His plan quickly falls apart though as Jax and his minions work at stopping him.

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The parts actually inside the cube are the most forgettable unfortunately and there isn’t anything we’ve not seen before. That it instead becomes a race against time to avoid the ‘purge’ once the traps are disabled doesn’t make it any more interesting. The only thing we have to make these parts more exciting is the knowledge that there is an exit and once you reach it, a question.

Do you believe in God?

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The question we should be asking ourselves is after 3 entries…do we still believe in the Cube film series? Sadly after this disappointing entry, the answer has to be no.

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Cube Zero
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