An Under-Rated Gem Of A Thriller
When it comes to producing a compelling, engrossing sci-fi thriller on a budget, look no further than Cube. With a simple premise, a chilling atmosphere and a really engaging storyline, Cube is an excellent thriller and one that manages to transcend beyond its simple premise to offer a character-driven examination of the human psyche.
After a brief and gruesome prologue, the film opens with six strangers awakening inside a strange cube-like structure. Panic stricken and with no comprehension on how they ended up there, the six form a loose fellowship as they try to navigate the maze and survive. With each room full of deadly traps and seemingly no end to the maze, the story evolves to become less about the cube itself and more about the characters held within.
What’s particularly impressive with Cube, besides its shoe-string budget, is the way each character is fleshed out enough to make us empathise with their situation whilst holding enough mystery to keep our expectations subverted throughout the run time. Some characters who begin the story as panic-stricken and afraid change to silent confidence toward the end whilst others begin as leaders and slowly descend into hopelessness and despair. This dynamic continues throughout the film with a definitive and satisfying end bringing a close to the characters’ journey whilst leaving enough questions unanswered to leave us on a thought provoking note.
Cube may not be the best Indie title out there but it’s an example of how to do a lot with a little. Much like 2015’s Coherence, Cube is at its peak when it lets the characters revel in the mystery and take over the narrative at play. The dialogue is realistically depicted, the acting solid and the general pacing of the film remains consistent throughout the run time.
Cube isn’t perfect and some of its budget restraints are quite noticeable, especially with some of the quick cuts and extreme close-ups during dramatic moments, but there’s enough here to provide an absorbing character-driven journey nonetheless. While the film draws more than a few comparisons to the original Saw film, Cube pulls off its premise with confidence and enough mystery to keep you watching right through to the satisfying and climactic end to this under-rated gem of a thriller.