Saturday, 15 March 2014

Cube (1997)

Every now and again an indie film project turns into a cult hit. Cube is one such film. It's very much a 'bottle show' film, with basically only the one set, which gets turned into multiple rooms by changing the lighting and walls panels. Smartly, the script has been written to turn the limited physical environments (and limited cast - only seven people) into a feature rather than a flaw.

The premise is simple enough: a group of strangers awaken in a strange and deadly prison. The facility is comprised of scores of cube-shaped rooms with hatch-like exits on each of their six sides. Many of the rooms contain deadly traps, as well, as the group soon discovers. The film follows their efforts to escape from the prison, a process in which each of them can help, provided they can keep themselves from freaking out. One of the things I like about the film is its treatment of its characters. None of them are as archetypal as they first appear, and each has their moments of being an asset and of being a liability.

This is not going to be a movie to all tastes: it's not high on action sequences, and some people might find it dull or slow. But I very much enjoyed it when I first saw it, back in the late 90s. Even now, watching it with foreknowledge of the plot, I was entertained, though I definitely think it profits from being seen 'unspoiled'. Hence the lack of detail about the plot in this review.

Worth checking out if you don't mind the fact that it has a measured pace.

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