The debut film of the talented Canadian director Vincenzo Natali is quite ambitious, although filmed with a meagre budget – 300,000 dollars. It managed to become a cult classic and drew a lot of attention from the viewer.
The film begins with a super-large scene: a glare of the human eye is shown. Almost with the same scene begins Blade Runner by Ridley Scott: the pupil reflects the impressive futuristic panorama of Los Angeles. There’s a white void in the Cube. In both cases, we kind of see what’s behind us. Subsequent footage shows that this emptiness is dangerous. The threat is what is invisible: the owner of the eye is cut into pieces by the thinnest wire that has come out of nowhere. Turn around, and you’ll face this emptiness face to face.
The plot of this psychological sci-fi thriller is extremely simple: several people of different ages and professions are inside a giant, as it later turns out, a cube consisting of an array of similar cubic rooms. In each plane of each room is on the door leading to another room. Some rooms are life-threatening and some are not.
People do not remember how they found themselves here, in this mysterious and deadly zone, but the instinct of survival encourages them to act, to overcome room after room in the hope that there is a way out.
When Cube was released in Ottawa and Montreal it gained huge acclaim and was somewhat a different insight on horror movies. It is more of a psychological horror than a traditional slasher where monsters are eating human flesh and etc. The hype surrounding the movie impacted people to a great extent.
But the affect this movie had on popular culture just cannot be denied. The paraphernalia of the Cube movie can be seen literally everywhere nowadays as more and more people express their interests. The most “surprising” adaptation of the movie’s distinct features will most likely be seen on Halloween 2020 as people buy or make costumes. But, some people have even reported that companies are starting to like the movie as well. So much so that they are partnering up with the production studio to somehow use its features. The most distinct partnerships that occurred here was with the gambling industry. This entertainment sector is always looking for ways to stand out, therefore borrowing some horror features was a no-brainer. The same people that reported growing interest mentioned an exacerbated use of horror features in online roulette Canada games as well as some card-based games. Canada was explicitly mentioned as it is one of the few places where people can gamble legally online.
Some people even draw comparisons with gambling and in particular roulette for a very obvious reason – as the characters in the movie have no idea where a door is leading as it is not clear whether you win in the roulette. Considering the fact that Canadians adore the horror genre, it was quite a smart strategy to take from the side of these companies.
Vincenzo Natali’s Cube is a metaphor for hell. We are building hell with our own hands, not realizing that in this hell, as in the real there is a place for everyone. Moreover, we consider it a duty to build hell, and some build it even with hunting. The main thing, in this case, is not to ask yourself or other unnecessary questions. You wake up, brush your teeth, have breakfast, and go to work, where you build hell brick by brick. Once in a month or sometimes twice a month you receive a money transfer to your card and provide your body, your primitive consciousness with comfort. Comfort is what you need. But then, at one point, you find yourself deprived not only of comfort but even of the soil under your feet. You’re in hell because it’s finally finished.
To some extent, if from the very beginning there is a visual reference to Blade Runner, the film Cube can be called an explanatory commentary on Scott’s film, because in both movies there is an illustration of the hell that awaits us all. And if the answer to the question “Who is to blame?” is so curious, Natali gives you the answer.
It is not so difficult to calculate who will be able to get out into the wild (in other words, to heaven, because ordinary life will seem like a true paradise after the cube’s ordeal) – unless, of course, you, the viewer, have had time to read the Gospel. Finally, the person to whom it is given to be saved is able to bring out the others, if they trust him.
The film is well-staged, keeps in suspense, the psychology of the characters is dynamic – their characters develop (or degrade) throughout the plot. The director tries to convey to the viewer the idea that if you have nothing but survival instinct, you will not just die, but die like a dog. In addition, he expresses a vote of no confidence in brute force and doubts that leadership qualities, in the sense in which we understand them, are so necessary for matters of survival.
The film also got a prequel and sequel but in my opinion, they are nowhere close to the original movie. Furthermore, there were talks of creating a remake, which is currently on hold and it will be a really good idea to abandon the project because not every movie is in need of having another version of itself.