Its about time a sci-fi/horror flick has the balls to do something different, from Canada no less (no offense, any Canadian horror fans out there). Out of seemingly nowhere comes an independent movie with homages to the very best “Twilight Zone” episodes and a uncanny ability to fully utilize common fears of claustrophobia and paranoia.
“Cube” has an ingenious plot: 6 ordinary strangers awake to find themselves in what appears to be a series of inter-connected rooms. I don?t know about you, but if I were put in this situation I would do anything and everything in my power to escape, which is exactly what happens. However, our protagonists soon discover that several of these rooms contain booby traps that, if triggered, make a pretty big mess out of the poor bastard who crossed the path of that particular trap. There?s no food, no water, which leaves the people little time to find a way out (if there is a way out). But all is not lost: as the movie unravels, each person discovers that they have an ability that is beneficial to the navigation of this deathtrap. Can they work together and survive? Or will they succumb to the extreme elements and to each other?
Now what makes this movie riveting and terrifying is that much is left to the imagination. Questions concerning how they got there, what the hell is it and its purpose are answered with subtle hints that make the viewer (the intelligent viewer) ponder the full solution to these questions and many more.
Claustrophobia is used to full-effect, with clever camera angles and well-designed set pieces that convey the feeling of being caged in with the helpless feeling of having little to do about it. When this movie is at its best, you too will feel the panic and the fear as this movie has a tendency to tap into your most primitive psyche. Creepy stuff.
However, much of the atmosphere is nearly ruined as the cliche’ script and the mediocre acting rears its ugly head. I partially forgave this movie, as it is a low-budget independent film, so therefore established talent is non-existent, but even the best of actors can look silly when inconsistencies and weak spots of the script are revealed (if you need proof of that, “A Beautiful Mind” is such an example).
Bottom Line: Shoddy acting and a semi-weak script cant hold this movie back. Its simply too good a premise and too well-directed to let minor hindrances de-rail its creepy premise. And by the way, for you gore hounds: a man gets cut to pieces sushi-style, another man gets acid spurted into his face, and stabbings also come into play. So why aren?t you at Blockbuster yet?