Movie Review: Cube (1997)

Cube_The_Movie_Poster_ArtI’d never heard of this movie when it came out, but I have seen it time and time again on the underrated horror movie lists. It came on one of my movie channels, so I thought I would throw it on there and see how it fared? Can Canadian Horror hold up to my American sensibilities?

A man comes out of a hole in a wall, and stands in a room. He is in a room with colored panels with matching portals in the middle of every wall. He turns and gets cut apart like he just got shoved into a egg slicer. Its actually a really good effect. Saw the same thing on the the first Residential Evil Movie, and its more effective here, with a lower budget. We flip over to another room where a man is just laying on the floor, and another man climbs into the room. As they begin to talk, a woman shows up then another shows up. A fifth person shows, and for now our little group is complete, and we have:

cube castHolloway – White Woman. Doctor. She’s far left, and that brings her into conflict with Quentin.

Leaven – White Woman. Student. She notices that there is a series of numbers on all the portals, and for some reason thinks that if the numbers are Prime Numbers, then there is a trap.

Quentin – Black Male. Cop. He is trying to get out, and get back to his 3 kids. He’s here to represent the far right, and he gets into major problems with the liberal Halloway.

Rennes – White Male. He’s an escape expert, having escaped from several prisons. He has figured out that if he throws his boots into the next room to check for traps, and keeps moving in a straight line, he should get out. Quentin, being a cop, recognizes him.

Worth – White Male. He doesn’t want to give up who he is or anything about his background. Quentin immediately distrusts him.

Rennes allows the group to come with him, since he might need their shoes later, as he goes from room to room. Shortly, he runs into a room that is not able to be detected by a boot, and gets sprayed in the face with acid.
Soon after, a replacement man is found, Kazan, who is more than happy to stay in the Blue Room. The group convinces him to come with them and the five-some continues to take turns being the first person going from room to room.

cube trapThe rooms themselves tend to fade in importance after the first two men die, and the group comes together. Its well written and the rooms become secondary to the interaction between the groups, primarily between Quentin and Halloway. The movie actually spends a good bit of its FX budget on the first two deaths, to draw you in, then weaves the group interaction, where it makes its money. If the movie doesn’t make you care about the characters, then the latter 2/3rds of the movie will be boring and dull. To my little group, it wasn’t. The interaction is engaging, and the acting is just good enough to not be distracting, even with the budget. I think this is a solid 7 movie, leaning to an 8, but the ending is just horrible- almost like they just gave up at the end and figured they might get a sequel to explain it. Its either lazy or overthinking- and knocks it back for me. I’m going a 6 here. The ending is just that bad. I know the Cube has two sequels, and to be honest, from what I have heard from my freinds on the sequels, I don’t want to see them.

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