I finished watching Cube for the first time in twenty years or so.
The short version: Strangers wake up in a collection of interconnected cubes. Some of the rooms have secret traps and will kill you when you pass through. Nobody knows why or how they ended up here, or how to get out.
Things I really liked about Cube:
- how the film started out with A Dude in a Cube, with no explanation of how or why he’s there
- people talking about why the Cube was built, and the ultimate conclusion (from a different guy who worked on it) that the Cube just exists, as a “perpetual works project” whose purpose was forgotten, and that it is being used because it’s there and not using it would be to admit that its construction was effectively pointless
- the minimalism of each cube-room (something I didn’t know until a few years ago: the film takes place in a big cube composed of smaller cubes because they didn’t have a big enough budget to make more than a single room)
- the vastness of the Cube itself, as an object composed of all the other cube-rooms
Cube has big “corporate Lovecraftian” vibes, in terms of this big huge cube-construct that exists because it can, like the brainchild of Azathoth in bureaucratic form. Ligotti, eat your heart out.
I also watched Cube²: Hypercube, which is just Cube with extra special effects, a badly-considered sci-fi gimmick (the movie seems unsure whether “the fourth dimension” is supposed to be time or a spatial dimension), and a complete inversion of the themes which made the first Cube interesting to me: highlight for spoilers || both cubes were made for a purpose and are still managed by people who know that purpose, and everyone who was put in the Cube has a connection to it. || spoilers end.
Cube² is bad but fun, but you could probably find a better movie without trying very hard.
Cube Zero goes even further down the road of fucking up everything that was good about the original Cube, with even more explanations and even more purpose behind what was supposed to be Kafka’s torture dungeon.
Also, they didn’t call it Cube³, which is just awful.