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Watch the Short that Inspired ‘Cube’

Canada’s Vincenzo Natali remains one of my favorite filmmakers and 1997’s Cube is still, in my opinion, one of the best high-concept thrillers of all time. The low-budget horror movie about a group of strangers trapped in endless levels of stark white cubes-that-kill was so popular it spawned two sequels and ushered in a host of one-room thrillers like Saw. 

The film’s legacy even continues to this day with Lionsgate developing a remake/reboot with Prometheus‘ Jon Spaihts and Saman Kesh at the helm. 

So where did Natali get the idea for his influential film? Turns out Natali was inspired by a now obscure German short film called Balance, which even won an Academy Award in 1989. Balance is directed by Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein.

A group of fishermen on a precariously balanced platform fight over a trunk.

Check out the experimental short below.



  • Grimphantom

    I can see some similarities with the Cube that inspired it.

  • Kev Ruh

    Watched this short around 2006 in art school, no idea until now it was the basis for Cube! Crazy.

    • I believe this is also the inspiration for a video game coming out very soon named DEFORMERS.

  • zombie84_41

    I love cube alot. All three of them were awesome. been awhile since I watched them

  • Interesting watch. It’s cool. Oscar winning though..? Ok. Lol

  • Melissa Sharp

    I remember when IFC used to have their animation and short claymation films from all over the word. They would have little marathons and always some really cool weird stuff. I still have 4 VHS tapes where I recorded them. This was one of them they showed. I haven’t watched those tapes in years. I should dig them out. There are several of them that have stuck with me over they years due to impact. Such as this one

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