JULY 2, 2007
I believe that Cube Zero is the first time in Horror Movie A Day history that I have watched a sequel to a previous HMAD entry. I’ll have my research department check. After I create one.
Making a film that is superior to Hypercube is no easy task. Assuming you’re a blind, deaf, mute, drunk fetus. That has died. But as far as I know, writer/director Ernie Barbarash ("One B. B-A-B-A-R.") is not such a thing, so to say it’s a better film is saying nothing at all. But it’s more than better, it’s actually pretty good, almost as good as the original in fact. And Barbarash was one of the producers on Hypercube (and he says he was disappointed with that movie too), a fact that will likely lower your expectations even more. Kind of a brilliant move.
Much like the first film, the cube is simply a single set with different colors. None of that goddamn 4th dimension bullshit. However, this time we spend time with some of the technicians who are running the thing. We still don’t learn everything, which is good, but it’s nice to have a few more answers as to what the cube is for, who runs it, and why they always give them shoes to throw. There’s also a guy named Jax who is a sort of boss (not THE boss), and belongs to the John Glover school of whimsical villainy. I liked him.
Granted it’s not a perfect film. The ideas for traps are obviously running low, and there’s only so many times in my life I can watch a guy throw a shoe into a room (fourteen times). But in the pros column, the characters are more engaging (particularly a Hurley-like guy who is sadly killed too early) and seeing the “other side” as it were adds a much needed twist to the series. The only real misstep in the film is leaving the Cube with 10 minutes to go and having part of the climax in what looks like Oregon. It reminded me of that Assault on Precinct 13 remake where they stupidly decide to stage the climax in a forest. I’m not too familiar with downtown Detroit, but I am pretty sure there aren’t many forests around. Even so, the whole point is containment. The first Cube ended brilliantly – the guy walked into the unknown and the movie ended. Done and done.
Also, the main character looks like the unholy offspring of Liev Schreiber and Eddie Deezen. That alone is worth at least three of the mouse clicks it takes to rent the movie from Netflix.
What say you?