I heard of the film Cube from some friends, but I never really took the energy to go out and procure it. One thing lead to another and I am now in the presence of my very own copy of Cube. I decided to watch it. And wow, I have conflicted emotions about it.
Cube was written and directed by (now) seasoned director Vincenzo Natali, director of a segment in Paris, je taime and ABCs of Death 2, and episodes of Black Orphan, Darknet, Hannibal, and The Strain.
The opening scene is gloriously gutsy yet brave for the filmmaker to do. Killing someone withing the first minute of a film is always dicey (pun intended) and we're looking at you Ghost Ship. A man enters an unfamiliar room, not knowing why he is there, and we immediately connect with him because we're both lost, we don't know what is going on/to happen. Within seconds we hear a slicing noise. Closeup on his name-tag, which is printed on his jumpsuit, where blood slowly seeps through. This scene pulls off what Ghost Ship tried to pull off, but failed on. Our senses get shocked immediately. It leaves us thinking if the filmmaker kills this Anderson guy right off of the bat, then who knows what they're going to do after that?
Two things are in need of nitpicking, this is where my conflicted view of the movie comes to be. The first thing I need to address is the over-the-top acting. The actors are so unrealistic in this, it is cringe-worthy. This is where my second criticism comes in, which is the bad, bad, BAD dialogue. It is obvious Natali had a solid plan for the expository scenes with all of the math stuff everyone loves from this move, but besides that it was almost as if Natali threw darts at the dictionary and penned the words he landed on. With all of this being said, the scenes with all of the math and numbers stuff make up for the atrocious dialogue.
"Holy holy cats."
The biggest praise Cube deserves is the incredible sound design. Natali could have had Michelle Schubert take an easy way out and focus more on the foley work on the traps and the deaths, but she kept extreme detail in the sound of the cubes opening, which added a new level of realism to the opus.
On the topic of the foley work, we would be remiss not to talk about the tensest scene in the entire film: the silence room:
Our protagonists are now speeding through the rooms after they think they've solved the mathematical code directing them where to go. They approach one room (scene titled Sound Activated) in which if a certain decibel level is reached these sword-type things come springing out of the wall to impale the person in the room. What is even more nerve wracking is the fact that our characters are stuck with a mentally disabled person who cannot control when he says something very loud. Our characters must bravely travel forward through this room to continue through the maze.
I would not recommend Cube to an average film viewer, I would recommend it to the seasoned thriller viewer who wants something thought provoking to watch. The ending is slightly depressing, but will make you somewhat happy. Thrilling from beginning to end Cube will give a seasoned viewer an entertaining treat for their eyes and brains.