Cube (1997)

Vincenzo Natali directs Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint and David Hewlett in this sci-fi puzzler where a group of strangers wake up in a geometric cell maze full of booby traps.

Proof that great sci-fi cinema can make its limitations its core strength. Natali recycles the same set over and over, making it seem like an endless existential curse. Our leads have to decide which of six hatches to climb through next… is the next room safe? Does it lead anywhere? Do any of them lead anywhere? The cube design is rich… industrial yet functional. The screech and clanks of the hatches plus the iconic glowing wall panels all add to the oppression yet also embellish a rich fantasy setting. Sure the cast are basic, but they get across the escalating tensions and theories of exposition adequately enough. It makes for a tense, jerkingly gory thriller, one that is enjoyably rewatchable despite its singular set. Neat.

9

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