Review: Cube (1997)

Cube is a 1997 Sci-Fi psychological thriller directed by Vincenzo Natali. It’s about 7 complete strangers who wake up inside the terrifying creation that is the Cube, with no memories of how they got there and no sure way of how to get out.

Unlike its sequel, Cube²-Hypercube, and the prequel Cube Zero, both movies that thoroughly relied on visual effects to produce a scare or any kind of reaction really, Cube relies solely on the surreal settings. The feeling of confinement, the lack of any explanations as to what the Cube is, where it’s located, who made it and why those particular people were chosen to be put in, is what adds to the psychological scare.

I think the fact that you don’t get an answer after all – by the end of the movie, none of those questions are answered – adds to the appeal of the film.

Without being a blockbuster whatsoever, a movie worth millions of dollars, and without any amazing special effects, this film manages to be incredibly compelling. Part because, in my honest opinion, Natali is a genius for refusing to explain it and spoon-feed its audience and part because of the performances.

There are just a couple of effects to speak of – their only role is to draw the viewer in and the first scene manages to do just that. Otherwise it’s an entirely character driven movie.

It’s also incredibly clever. From the names of the 7 strangers – all named after prisons – to their different personalities – reflecting the prisons themselves, to the dialogue that’s meant to increase the paranoia feeling, this movie is a psychological masterpiece.

Even though there’s a repetitive quality to it, what with the characters moving from room to room trying to find a way out, it never gets old or boring.

I did have a few issues, particularly with the math used in the movie – they very much exaggerate the complexity of what they have to do with the numbers and there are some mathematical errors – but those problems were not enough to take away from the film’s awesomeness.

Oh, right. My one true problem with Cube was the role Julian Rinchings had. I love that actor and he’s got some creepy vibes in general, he would’ve been perfect to keep around. Alas, his character has only a small role, granted an important one, but still.

All in all, I consider this movie to be a classic and a must see.

Cast: Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett, Nicole de Boer, Nicky Guadani, Andrew Miller, Julian Rinchings and Wayne Robson.

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