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Cube

Director: Vincenzo Natali


This terrific science fiction movie from first time Canadian director Vincenzo Natali more than makes up for its tiny budget with some intriguing ideas and very impressive technical skill. Shot on a single set which is constantly transformed, the film places a small group of characters in a surreal prison – a seemingly endless maze of interlocking cubical chambers, some of which contain lethal booby traps. None of the characters knows why or how they were imprisoned, but it soon emerges that each of them has a skill that could contribute to their escape. As they move through the maze, alternating between success and failure, each member of the group learns that they must cooperate if they are to work out the secrets of this deadly trap.
The film is both an intensely claustrophobic thriller and a study of characters under extreme pressure. Personality conflicts and struggles for power emerge as the tension rises. There are unanswered questions at every turn: who created this diabolical maze, and why? Is there any way out of the gigantic structure of cubes?
Director Natali and his talented team of actors and technicians mount this gripping and sometimes quite gruesome exercise with consummate skill. The film works best as a suspense thriller whose clever conceit finds beautiful expression in some superb set design and special effects. Honoured as the Best Canadian Feature Debut at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, and coming with a seal of approval from Canadian horror maestro David Cronenberg, Cube is sure to become a cult movie.

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