‘You’ve gotta save yourselves from yourselves…’
Imagine a horror film set inside the puzzle box from Hellraiser and you are pretty close to the Kafkaesque madness that is Cube. The set up of a group of strangers waking up in a mysterious place fraught with danger is no old hat in the horror genre, mainly due to the runaway success of the Saw franchise. Cube arguably does the same thing better, smarter and crucially first. There is no doubting that Cube paved the way for several of the Saw sequels and many others.
Cube is not flawless however. The dialogue is sometimes clunky and for every well written, well acted character there is another clichéd bore. Maurice Dean Wint’s Quentin for example is wildly over the top whereas David Hewlett’s Worth is consistently the best thing on screen.
The concept itself is simple but if director Vincenzo Natali had got the set design wrong the concept could easily have gone unrealised. Luckily Cube looks amazing, even nearly 20 years on and it is surprising that such an original and compelling concept never turned into a big franchise of its own (both sequels went straight to video and are, by all accounts, awful).
Whilst Scream and Blair Witch Project took all the accolades, Cube is as good a horror as any that graced the 90s and deserves its status as a cult classic.