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Film / Cube 2: Hypercube

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Cube 2: Hypercube is a 2002 Canadian science fiction/horror film and the second film in the Cube series starring Kari Matchett.

A group of strangers wake up to find themselves in a cubical structure with no idea how they got there. As they continue to explore the place they realize that the maze they're in doesn't even obey the laws of physics, with rooms moving around randomly and parallel dimensions intersecting. Some members may even know more about their captors, the mysterious Izon corporation.


This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Although not as pronounced in the beginning, when the situation requires it, Kate is remarkably strong and skilled at fighting (as demonstrated by the numerous times she managed to beat Simon's ass whenever he tried to restrain her or fight her). Of course, it's later revealed in the Twist Ending that Kate was actually a hired professional from Izon whose mission was to retrieve Alex's necklace.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: One that causes Rapid Aging, and another that fills the room with transparent piledrivers that can take your head off.
  • Alien Geometries: A rare portrayal of this trope being employed in a visual medium. The actual warped geometry shows up only a few times due to the special effects required being rather expensive; the rest of the time it's showcased indirectly (e.g. duplicates of characters showing up).
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  • Almost Dead Guy: Mrs Pasley opens a door and sees herself!. She's then stabbed In the Back by Simon who warns the others not to trust her just before a transparent piledriver knocks his head off. Everyone (especially Simon) is severely freaked out by this.
  • Alternate Universe: The hypercube transects parallel universes. The characters don't realize this until they start running into duplicates of themselves and each other. Exploited by one character who uses them as a human food source.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Max calls the rest of the group crazy for even considering that space and time could be distorted in the cube (despite repeatedly witnessing things that are physically impossible, such as the rooms instantaneously moving around) and argues that there has to be a logical explanation, such as an optical illusion. At the same time he berates the others for not believing in his conspiracy theories, and is convinced that the cube is operated by a mysterious superhacker called Alex Trusk.
  • Ax-Crazy: Simon, the detective with a knife, becomes increasingly unhinged until he just starts hunting down people across alternate universes so he can eat their flesh and drink their blood to survive.
  • Arc Number: The number 60659, which the characters encounter written on one of the walls and suspect may be a clue to finding their way out of the death maze. It's the time period in minutes until the hypercube collapses in on itself and the dimensional portal from the physical world opens.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: In contrast to the first Cube, this cube has a user-friendly look, with sleek white surfaces and touch-to-open panels.
  • Audible Sharpness: The Tesseract trap (basically a flying, razor-sharp geometric object) makes incredible noise as it flies around and reforms itself.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The overseers of the Hypercube kill everyone they set out to get rid of by throwing them into the highly dangerous environment, and retrieve Alex Trusk's device. And they kill Kate, their own employee, probably because she knew too much or because it was a suicide mission from the start.
  • Big Brother Is Employing You: As in the first movie, people who helped design the hypercube have ended up being used as Unwitting Test Subjects.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Unlike the previous movie which actively downplayed the trope, here it's strongly implied that a military-megacorporate conspiracy is behind things, foreshadowed by the shots of the CCTV cameras watching the future cube inhabitants in the How We Got Here flashback.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The true identity of the hacker "Alex Trusk" is hinted at for anyone familiar with how Slavic diminutive names work, since Alex is actually Sasha, a female character whose name is the diminutive form of Alexander/Alexandra.
  • Bizarrchitecture: This film takes the concept to a whole new level, adding strange gravitational and time effects, as well as much more. The matrix of cubes is, in this movie, a tesseract, which is made by extending a cube along a fourth spatial dimension. It's about as comprehensible as it sounds. There are also bizarre quantum effects, which combine with the temporal and spatial effects mean that once someone goes IN, they will never stop coming OUT, with every copy having had a different set of experiences inside. This turns out to be rather important to the closing explanation of what the hell's actually been going ON in this film that's got a plot almost as weird as the setting.
  • Blind Seer: The blind character Sasha can sense the hypercube environment's threats coming long before any of the others. Subverted later on when it's revealed that she actually helped to design the cube, so she knows vaguely what kind of threats there are. She probably just acted as though it were supernatural feelings that caused her to "sense" it, instead of letting people know who she was and why she knows the dangers.
  • Bloodless Carnage: You'd think there'd be a lot more blood on the eater after he'd stabbed someone and carved them up for food.
  • Call-Back: Colonel Maguire is shown ranting that "The other one had numbers!" The hypercube is said to be Phase 2, implying that the first cube was Phase 1.
  • Cat Scare: There's a rather ripe-smelling body in one of the rooms. He turns out to be Not Quite Dead giving everyone a shock...then immediately dies. There's no purpose whatsoever in this other than to give a cheap shock, as whatever clues the man has are already written on his body.
  • Cigarette Burns: After rescuing a general who was involved in black ops operations from committing suicide by hanging, someone points out that the man was badly tortured with cigarette burns.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Max Renn is a conspiracy nut who firmly believes that a hacker named Alex Trusk is responsible for creating the Hypercube. He turns out to be right.
  • Corporate Conspiracy: The Izon organization, which is in cahoots with the government and constructs mazes with Alien Geometries for its own unexplained reasons.
  • Creepy Souvenir: The guy who resorts to eating people to survive collects the watches and ID tags of people he's eaten.
  • Daylight Horror: EVERY chamber is practically a White Void Room.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: On multiple occasions, characters meet versions of themselves in the hypercube from alternate universes who are then killed by one of its traps. At one point Kate enters a room, only to find thorougly decomposed corpses of everybody she's met, including herself.
  • Deadly Hug: There's a Hope Spot when Simon encounters the woman he's been hired to find, and it looks like he's been returned to sanity, but then he stabs her in the back while he's giving her a hug. Turns out he's hunting down both the Jerry's and the Becky's.
  • Death by Sex: Julia and Max, after getting lost in the hypercube while escaping Simon, they come to terms with the fact that they are truly trapped, and suddenly begins having sex as that room's trap kills them, using time dialation to rapidly age them until they eventually succumb to hunger and thirst.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Sasha, aka Alex Trusk, eventually gives up hope that she can escape the hypercube and completely resigns herself to her impending death. This doesn't stop Simon from murdering her in cold blood anyway.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: After surviving many perils, the heroine, who turns up to be a special agent, manages to escape the Hypercube and return to the normal world... where her superior has her summarily shot in the back of the head for no apparent reason. The worst is that she obviously knows what's coming, but merely closes her eyes instead of trying anything.
  • Disability Superpower: Sasha can hear the hypercube 'moving' even when the others can't. However it turns out she knows all about the hypercube, so is likely just using this trope to cover for it.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Julia, who is barefoot for nearly all the movie. Justified, as wearing dress sandals in her situation is not practical.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The supposed superhacker and mastermind Alex Trusk turns out to be... a blind girl?
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted and played straight with Colonel Maguire. The first time around he's saved in time by the group, but the second time he voluntarily chains himself to a wall so he can be killed by one of the traps, before swallowing the key.
  • Eldritch Location: The Hypercube is the theoretical construct of a tesseract made reality by constructing some sort of pocket dimension. The laws of physics are bent around in the place, making the entire thing an inescapable death trap.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: Instead of something out of hell with dark shadows, visible circuit boards, spinning door latches and rumbling elevators, the environment of the new tesseract cube is almost user-friendly with all white surfaces and touch-to-open panels.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: A group of people are trapped in a giant maze of interconnected cubical rooms which also has distorted Alien Geometries and intersecting parallel universes. One character eventually becomes violently insane from the stress and hunger. He solves his food problem by repeatedly hunting down and eating alternate versions of the people in the hypercube.
  • Eye Scream: When a character who's gone mad and started eating people tries to kill Kate, she uses his own knife against him by stabbing him in the eye. He wanders around for years more in the hypercube vowing revenge, encountering Kate again seconds after the original incident.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In one of her rare lucid flashes, the senile Mrs. Paley assures Kate that "it's only a matter of time", foreshadowing the hypercube's eventual collapse.
  • Simon pretends to hold Kate hostage with a knife at her throat, then holds Sasha hostage for real at the end.
    • When Simon points out that Kate said she was a shrink, and asks what's happening with Mrs. Paley, Kate looks startled and gives a rather vague and obvious answer. There's also a Reaction Shot when she sees the memory stick that Sasha is carrying. This foreshadows The Reveal that she's an Izon agent sent to get it.
  • Geeky Turn-On: When Julia tells the nerdy game developer Max that she knows about the computer company Cyberthrill, he excitedly asks her if she's into computer games. It's actually just a subsidiary of the Mega-Corp she works for.
  • Gender Misdirection: Many people are looking for "Alex Trusk", who is only known by name, as a hacker. It turns out that "Alex" is Sasha, who has been in the hypercube with them the whole time. Also doubles as a Bilingual Bonus since "Sasha" is a common diminutive for people named Alexander/Alexandra in Slavic countries
  • Genre Shift: The first movie was at least somewhat grounded in reality, with the cube structure obviously futuristic, but still employing normal and believable machinery. The second replaces this with some sort of physically impossible mega-structure consisting of millions of rooms that freely employs Time Travel, intersecting parallel universes, and many more "hardcore sci-fi" contraptions.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Kate does this to Jerry when he starts to ramble too much while he's explaining the physics of the hypercube.
  • Gorn: Averted. The only one who dies a bloody death is Jerry, and even his is sort of... abstract.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Hypercube is run by a secret cabal called Izon made up of military men and a Washington think tank.
  • Gravity Screw: One room has the gravity offset 90 degrees from the room next to it. Another appears to have zero-gravity effects.
  • Hackette: The superhacker Alex Trusk turns out to be Sasha. Her name is the Russian diminutive of Alexander/Alexandra.
  • He Knows Too Much: This appears to be the entire reason why almost everyone was thrown into the hypercube to die, as they all have some sort of connection to the hypercube's controllers. Except for Sasha, who it's revealed went inside willingly to hide, and Kate, who's an operative sent in with a mission. It's also why Kate's superiors summarily execute her when she returns with her mission accomplished.
  • Immoral Reality Show: Max theorizes that they're all in the Hypercube as part of a reality show where the goal is for one of them to survive. He turns out to be wrong, though—it's really an experiment performed by a sinister Mega-Corp to create a pocket dimension.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Julia is treated by the other characters (and herself) as a bombshell, while she's really no more attractive than Kate or Sasha.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Colonel Maguire tries to kill himself by hanging himself with his own belt, but is saved when the others run into him and get him down. He succeeds in killing himself through other means not much later.
  • Irony: Simon reveals to Jerry that he is actually a private detective. He was working a missing persons case and looking for Becky Young, somebody who worked for Izon, which is undoubtedly the reason they threw Simon into the hypercube to get rid of him. Jerry can't help but point out the irony of Simon's objective given their current situation.
  • The Load: Played straight with Mrs. Paley, a senile old woman. She does provide one clue when it turns out that she used to work for the mysterious organization behind the hypercube, but otherwise she's just a burden who is completely oblivious and can't help anyone.
  • Mega-Corp: The Izon organization, which is implied in this film to be behind the cube. It has multiple secret subsidiaries and connections with the U.S. military and Washington think tanks, while having enough power for black ops experiments in building extra-dimensional mazes.
  • Mobile Maze: The hypercube has been built in an alternate dimension of non-Euclidean space. The rooms instantaneously move around and loop back on themselves. One character in particular, before meeting the others, marked the rooms he was in to track his movement. He always wound up in the same three rooms no matter what direction he took. It's revealed at the end to have essentially been one room duplicated countless times in different dimensions and points in time.
  • More than Three Dimensions: The film takes place inside what the film interchangeably refers to as both a "hypercube" and a tesseract. The film is not totally consistent with whether the fourth dimension is, in fact, time, or a fourth spatial dimension in addition to time; it's mostly a Timey Wimey exploration of Alien Geometries. Though, technically, both terms are correct. The term "hypercube" means a cube analog with greater than 3 dimensions (it doesn't have to be 4, it can be 5, 6, or 42). The term "tesseract" refers to a hypercube that has exactly 4 dimensions. All tesseracts are hypercubes, not all hypercubes are tesseracts.
  • Neck Snap: At the end Simon murders Sasha by breaking her neck.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Played with, but ultimately subverted.
    • Kate risks her life to save Maguire, but has to leave him behind as he's handcuffed himself to the wall.
    • Simon has Mrs. Paley Bound and Gagged when another Advancing Wall of Doom comes through the wall. Although he tries to untie her, he's unable to do so in time and when she clutches hold of him he stabs her to free himself.
    • Kate risks her life several times rather than abandon Sasha who is also The Load, as she points out. Turns out her job is to capture her and/or retrieve the memory stick she was carrying.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: The hypercube itself holds multiple timelines, parallel dimensions, and other traps that will kill you. You could run into a copy of someone you saw shredded into ribbons previously who has actually just woken up. The villain eventually starts to hunt down other occupants and their alternate universe counterparts to ward off starvation by eating them. The heroine later encounters the villain looking grey, bedraggled, and covered in the name tags and watches from two of the other trapped victims. Looking at how much older he looks, coupled with the amount of watches and name tags he has, it's very inferred he had quite a healthy appetite over the years.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Either subverted, or they were expecting that Viewers Are Geniuses. It will probably come off as this trope to laymen, but a "hypercube" is a real geometric object. "Hypercube" refers to a cube-like object that has more than 3 dimensions, for example "tesseract" refers to a hypercube that has exactly 4 dimensions. All tesseracts are hypercubes. Not all hypercubes are tesseracts, as hypercubes can have more than 4 dimensions as well.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Simon begins to suspect Mrs. Paley of faking her senility. He tries her up and threatens to kill her if she doesn't confess, but she's killed by another Booby Trap instead and we're shown no evidence that she really is faking it.
  • Pocket Dimension: Whereas the Cubes in the other films are implied to be real physical structures, the Hypercube was constructed in a pocket dimension of non-Euclidean space. It's also inherently unstable, and would collapse in six minutes of real world time, which does not correspond to time spent inside. The main character only gets back to the real world at the very end.
  • Psycho Party Member: Simon Grady is the strongest person and the only one to carry a knife. He doesn't go psycho until he's separated from most of the group and ties up and interrogates Mrs. Paley because he thinks her senility is just an act. He eventually stops giving a crap and starts eating people to survive, surviving for years due to all the parallel universe duplicates walking around that he can prey on.
  • Recursive Reality: Kate at one point opens a door to escape someone who turned murderer, accessing the opposing door from the same room she is already in. Even the madman is a bit baffled at this.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Downplayed; a dead physicist has written equations on the walls, but it turns out he's worked out an important clue. And it's not like there's any paper.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: After many perils, the main heroine manages to escape the maze but once her superior has received what she was sent in to find, he has her unceremoniously executed for no apparent reason. Her facial expressions indicate that she knows what's coming, but she does not try to resist or escape.
  • Sinister Geometry: The hypercube is the deathtrap. And has this weird tessellation thing at one point that does strange things to reality... as well as dice up one of the characters.
  • Split Screen: When each of the characters relate How We Got Here.
  • Sole Survivor: Subverted. Kate is the single survivor of the Hypercube and the only one to escape it, but is executed immediately afterwards before her superior.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Those put inside the hypercube are shown arriving like this, drugged and wrapped in plastic.
  • Suicide Mission: It's strongly implied that this was Kate's mission from the get go. She finds Alex Trusk and retrieves her data device, then escapes the hypercube against all odds. Her superior thanks her for her service and then has her shot to make sure she won't talk. Kate doesn't even protest her execution and simply closes her eyes when she hears the man behind her pull out his gun.
    • In the extended ending her superior even lampshades the trope by pointing out she's the first operative to return from what's regarded as a suicide mission. Kate also isn't shot until after her superior receives (unheard) orders on the phone, implying it was a higher decision rather than his.
  • Tested on Humans: Unlike in the first movie where the Cube is implied to be a government project that's gone out of control and no longer has a purpose, here it's implied that the creation of a practical hypercube has started a ruthless research program along the lines of Just Think of the Potential.
  • There Are No Girls on the Internet: The (female) protagonist is surprised to find out that the legendary hacker "Alex Trusk" is a girl, as the guy who originally told her about Alex assumed "he" must be male.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Colonel Maguire chains himself to a wall so he can be killed by one of the traps, a transparent, moving cube wall that ages all the matter in the room by decades if not hundreds of years. Seeing the effect it has on his briefcase leads him to remark "this is gonna hurt".
  • This Is Reality: "This isn't a game, Kate. There is no happy ending."
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Jerry is surprised to find his watch in one of the rooms, despite the fact that he's still wearing it. Turns out a parallel version of himself left the watch behind for this trope.
  • Try and Follow: Alex Trusk fled into the Hypercube because it was the one place Izon wouldn't follow. Ironically she's wrong about that, as Kate turns out to be working for them.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location: Jerry mentions that after waking up, he started exploring the interconnected cubical rooms of the hypercube and marking them, but no matter what direction he took, for several hours he always ended up in the same three rooms. Later this is weaponised when Kate stabs Simon only for him to appear behind her and attack Alex. Then Kate flees Simon through one door, only to simultaneously able to ambush him from behind.
  • Unreliable Voiceover: This was used early in the movie. One of the characters said he was a management consultant, but his flashbacks showed he was actually a private detective. The other ones don't so much directly lie as leave out the fact that they're all connected to the hypercube's creators or know more than they let on. For instance, one of them is actually a freelance superhacker who designed the thing and another is an operative working for the organization behind it.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: The main characters' stay in the hypercube appear to take place around several days. When Kate emerges on the outside, the Hypercube collapsed in 6 hours, 6 minutes, 59 seconds in real world time. In an alternate extended ending, Kate asks how long she was inside and is told it was 6 minutes, 59 seconds. To complicate things, time is relative in the place and some are stuck for what literally appears to be years.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Kate was really a government agent all along sent inside the Hypercube to retrieve Alex Trusk's memory disk, but when she makes it back to the real world, she's killed by her superior the moment she has completed her mission.
  • Zero-G Spot: Two characters, feeling that their deaths are inevitable, have sex in the center of one of the cube rooms that has zero gravity (and possibly accelerated time) until they apparently die of dehydration and eventually desiccate.


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