Review of 'Cube'

cube.jpg Six strangers wake to find themselves dressed in a prison uniform in a room 14 feet square with a door in each wall to another cube the same size differing only in colour. Each has a different skill that can be used to help them escape: Rennes (Wayne Robson) is an escape artist, Quentin (Maurice Dean Wint) is a cop who quickly takes control of the group, Leaven (Nicole de Boer) a young mathematical genius, Holloway (Nicky Guadangni) is a conspiracy-obsessed nurse, the quiet Worth (David Hewlett) who appears to know more than he is telling the others, and autistic Kasan (Andrew Miller). With only three days before they starve to death they travel from cube to cube looking for a way out using boots thrown ahead of themselves to detect traps…but some traps do not get triggered by boots…

The first time I saw this film I was enthralled. It grabs you in the very first scene which finds a visitor to the structure triggering a trap that causes him to be sliced into small cubes…Just what the heck is going on here? Who put this person here? What is this place? In watching the film what is refreshing is that there IS a logic and consistency to what is happening – It is just up to the group to discover what that is. The cube is cold and uncaring as it takes the life of anyone at any time, none of the group is safe. A film that keeps you guessing right up until the closing minutes.

The effects are simple though reasonable but Cube is more of a character study. Have their fate in their hands the characters also change as the film goes on stripping down their public persona and revealing their true personalities. The camera angles keep us interested throughout in what is, after all, simply some people in a room (or several identical rooms but with different colours) talking to one another.

Always keeping you guessing Cube is an amazing minimalist piece of film making. Violent, to be sure, but an interesting premise and a fascinating look into the human psyche.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2019-05-12

Directed by: Vincenzo Natali

Studio: Cube Libre

Year: 1997

Length: 90 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction