Movies featuring original ideas are very rare in today’s world of hyper production. Beautifully constructed, creative and gripping, Cube is a horror movie that created its own genre. To be perfectly honest, Twilight Zone episode Five Characters in Search of an Exit does feature a similar story. However, the atmosphere and everything else is way different. In the end, none of that really matters in the face of one of the best opening scenes in movie history. They must’ve blown half of their budget to pique our interest with the now-iconic “wire scene”. It’s just as gruesome as it is effective.
Featuring a technocratic and Kafkaesque setting, the reduction of elements enabled director Vincenzo Natali to focus on the visuals and characters. Saw, released in 2003, employed a similar concept although its story is set in the “normal world”. This is why Cube looks like a blockbuster despite the rather minuscule budget. I remember how much I loved it the first time I saw it in the late nineties. The bleak and mysterious atmosphere, claustrophobic setting, and sheer brutality of the story made for one hell of an experience.
Granted, towards the end, Cube starts running out of ideas and becoming more and more illogical. If they spent just a few more months polishing out these details while maintaining the atmosphere this would have been a perfect movie. However, if you’re looking for something novel and refreshing, this is a perfect choice. Especially, if you haven’t seen it in the original run. And it works great for all generations.
Welcome to the world of tomorrow! We find ourselves in a giant cube consisting of many smaller cubes all featuring deadly traps. In this unforgiving environment, our heroes who come from all walks of life will have to find a way to survive and escape.
So we got the main quest of escaping the cube and surviving, and the fear and paranoia of the people involved as the underlying story. The closed environment and constant danger created a very intense atmosphere and helped with the pacing immensely. The effects are pretty brutal and gory and it is most important, well done. However, they might put off some of the more mainstream-oriented viewers. The narrative proposes this wonderful idea of survival of the smartest to counter real-world injustice. Something that resonated well with a lot of people.
Cube is a beautifully dynamic movie, with colorful characters and a very foreboding story. There were two sequels with serious cases of milking, although now the reboot is starting to rear its ugly head. But let’s not judge it too harshly, after all, it’s not yet been released. Finally, I would suggest you simply skip both of the sequels and go straight to Vincenzo Natali’s next movies Cypher and Splice.
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Writers: André Bijelic, Vincenzo Natali, Graeme Manson
Cast: David Hewlett, Julian Richings, Nicole de Boer, Nicky Guadagni, Wayne Robson, Maurice Dean Wint
Fun Facts: The production shot the movie using just one cube. They first shot the scenes in the red cube, then change panels and move on to the next color.