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Cube: Cube is a story of six or so people who wake up in a... well... cube. On each side of the cube (including above and below), there are doors that lead to other cubes. Some of the cubes have deadly traps. There are three etched three-digit numbers on each cube that may provide a clue whether a particular cube is deadly and may also provide a clue on how to escape. Can the figure a way out without getting killed before they succumb to starvation or thirst or are simply driven mad?
The Good: I have a lot of pet peeves in movies. One of the biggest is films that explain everything to the audience as if we were dimwitted fourth graders. The Cube explains nothing. I love this. We can decide which of the characters speculations are correct or even if any of them are. This creates a wonderfully engaging film.
The film is well written with some excellent character arcs. Some of the characters are a little on the trope side of the equation (I am looking your way Rain Man) but overall it is an engaging group. There is a nice argument between just moving forward one cube at a time and the idea of trying to figure out what it all means. The movie really doesnít take sides once again allowing the viewer to decide which approach is best.
The special effects are actually quite good when they make an appearance and the set keeps one's interest for the relatively brief running time.
The Bad: The movie plays its room trap cards pretty early in a truly spectacular way. One wishes they had revisited that a bit more throughout the film. The film also suffers a little from the we ran out of cannon fodder too soon syndrome.
It really isnít that hard to figure out is a three digit number is prime. If it is an even number or ends in a five it isnít prime as an example. Our so-called math expert in the group took way to long to figure some of these out.
In Conclusion: This is a great example of how to make a low budget film with only seven actors, one set, and an engaging interesting script. The last part is a nut plenty of big-budget movies have yet to crack. Like the early Saw films, Cube is greater than the sum of its parts and a wonderful example of minimalism in a film.
For me, horror that is truly scary comes from what you don't know or see rather than what you do. Cube fulfills this perfectly. What is the Cube? Why is it here? Who would use such a machine? None of these questions get answered, and none of it matters if the next room can kill you.
It was also one of the best films we saw in my sci-fi group, and one of my fondest memories will be a riff at the ending as the lone survivor walked into a white light. Mike called out "Do you have any suggestions on how to make the Cube better?" We broke out into laughter; after this film, we needed it.
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