Archive for Vincenzo Natali

Cube (1997)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Vincenzo Natali

Writer: Andre Bijelic

Vincenzo Natali

Tagline: Fear… Paranoia… Suspicion… Desperation

Plot: 7 complete strangers of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in an endless kafkaesque maze containing deadly traps.

Cast: Maurice Dean Wint – Quentin

Nicole De Boer – Leaven

David Hewlett  – Worth

Andrew Miller – Kazan

Nicky Guadagni – Holloway

Review (spoilers):

The thing that I appreciate the most about Cube is it’s genuine idea! A group of stranger locked in a giant maze with booby traps! Hell yeah! Bring it on!

But the realization of this idea is another thing.

The movie itself starts with a great scene where you see that a man named Alderson (played by Julian Richings) is trapped inside this weird room and is looking for an exit. But after he enters another room he is suddenly killed by some trap. We are introduced to the cube. The first thing that catch my attention were it’s strange colors, all those dark red, green, blue lights surrounding everything make a crazy claustrophobic ambient. You can freak out just by thinking of being locked in rooms like that. Upon seeing how the cube looks like we are being introduced by our characters one by one, total of six survivors. Through the whole movie we don’t learn nothing important about their everyday lives nor their characteristics. Few times in the movie,  you get the feeling there is a reason why each and every character is in this strange maze, that there is a purpose for their existence. Unfortunately, I still can’t find out what was the purpose of some characters. Relationships between them are very complicated, every now and then, they just get into fights.  Every act and move they do, they do in anger or in desperation.  But somehow still I felt sorry for them and I wanted them to survive this menace.

They soon try to find out an exit from the cube but are constantly being pulled back by their own problems and anger.  So till the end, almost all kills were made by the mad cop Quentin, not by the maze, which disappointed me because I expected more booby trap solving and dying while doing so. But Quentin just started to rage and started killing everyone. He first killed Holloway, a doctor who didn’t agree with his methods and leadership. The scene of her death is the scariest one in the movie, it has very tense atmosphere combined with acrophobia (a fear of heights). Rest of the kills weren’t so creative and had some plot holes in them ( I won’t go into details now ). Because of all this, the Cube also had a little slasher feel in it.

After a half a hour or so the movie becomes boring and repetitive. All those ideas which were actually pretty good till now brought us nowhere because I had a felling I am rewatching the same scenes, over and over again. I know it is maybe a little hard to get ideas for some dialogues in a movie like this one but you could have at least invent some more traps and use them. The original traps in this movie have very little screen time. So this is the movie’s biggest problem – boredom.  I just couldn’t stand some parts and was desperately waiting for something interesting to occur.

Now something little about the maze itself. No one knows what is it, where was it built nor what is it’s purpose nor such things are revealed through the whole movie. So it’s all up to your own imagination to try to describe it and it’s purpose. There are some nice quotes from the movie which could explain the Cube’s “attitude” but the overall dialog is bad and sometimes cheesy.

As I said before, the atmosphere in this movie is great! I liked all the colors and the claustrophobic feeling they have. Masterfully done! But ofc, half a hour into the movie and you’ll get used to it. After that it doesn’t seem so special anymore, it becomes repetitive.

All in all, this movie isn’t bad, far from that, but it just failed some very good ideas. It could have been much better.

My Rating: 6/10 … Somehow average but still watchable.