Little Known Movies You Need To See… The Cube Series.


Alright, time for a new article theme. These will focus on those little known movies that you really need to see (obviously). These movies are those that are really great (in one way or more), but aren’t huge or mainstream, or don’t even have an incredibly major cult following (as like, for instance, the Evil Dead series does). I have a whole slew of movies I can talk about, some better than others, and no, I’m not going to start off with the best of the best. Instead, I’m going to start off with a little known trilogy of movies called Cube. The second two aren’t nearly as great as the first, but as there are three, I figure I might as well let you know how those are just in case you’re curious.

The first movie, Cube, was made back in 1997 by a French-Canadian writer/director Vincenzo Natali (his most recent film is being a part of Paris, je t’aime). It stars a grand total of seven people. The basic premise is that a bunch of random people wake up in strange cube-shaped rooms with no recollection of how they got there or why they are there in the first place. Each room they travel to is a different color. Oh yeah, some are safe and some are trapped.

I must say, this is how a thriller is done. While the traps and such are there for people who like gore, it’s the focus on each characters’ mentality and dip into paranoia and overall loopy-ness that makes the movie great. It’s more of a character study than anything. And it’s cool that each character was named after a prison, and each character has a characteristic or trait that matches the types of people that usually go to the prison they’re named after.

There are a couple twists, and one really sad (and ambiguous) ending… I mean, this was the first movie I had ever really screamed at my TV because of something that happens (not how the movie ends, but something that happens right before it). Still, this movie pulls no punches. If it wasn’t for the crazy CGI of the traps and stuff, this could probably even be turned into a stage play.

The first cube gets a Royale with Cheese from me.

Cube 2: Hypercube

The second in the series is the worst, in my opinion (although it does have the coolest poster). I actually hated it the first time I saw it. However, after a few more viewings of it, it grew on me and I like it a lot more than I did initially. This one, or the next one, are not written or directed by Vincenzo Natali, either. Cube 2 basically reverses the initial point of the first movie. While the first movie had a small cast and the traps were more of just something to add to the situation at hand, this movie has an enormous cast and the traps are a lot more prominent.

Here, the characters, again, have no idea how they got where they are… well, for the most part. There are a few extra layers to this one, such as a few characters coming into the cube of their own free will. Oh, and the cube is different this time, too. It’s completely white in every room, and it’s a hypercube. A hypercube is like… this 4th dimensional time/space thing. All you really need to know is that it deals with rifts in time and space. This really leads for some really cool special effects. But, again, like I said, any and all character development (and there really is none within this movie) is thrown to the wayside for the special effects and such. However, the movie does give a few more details about who could be behind the cube than the first movie did, and you actually see the outside this time (though it would be different from the first one anyway, as it was all… 4th dimensional this time).

I give this sequel a Stop Saying Okay! Okay.

Cube Zero

Cube Zero goes back to its roots… sort of… and in more ways than one. Cube Zero is a prequel to the first movie. The odd thing is, though, you can’t watch this one before you see Cube, or else the ending of this one will make absolutely no sense to you. Well, it will, but not NEARLY on the same level as it would if you have already seen the first.

Anyway, Cube Zero also returns to its roots by having a relatively smaller cast again. But it does something different than the other two. This time, it focuses on the guys behind the scenes. It still shows stuff within the cube, but that’s almost an afterthought in comparison to what takes place in the watchers’ room. The basic plot is that this super-genius, Eric Wynn, and his partner, Dodd, just have to sit and watch the monitors of people in the cube and document what happens. The people in this cube are told to be criminals and such, having signed a waver to do this cube thing instead of a prison sentence and/or death row. But Eric starts feeling for one of the people within the cube, which makes him discover that not only is she not a criminal (she’s a political), but she didn’t sign the waver. He starts to question the legitimacy, or correctness, of what they’re doing.

It’s hard not to give anything away, because there are numerous twists and turns in the movie (hell, I had to give one of them just to tell you the basic plot). But this movie is the most underrated of the three, I think. If you look at the imdb score, it’s relatively lower than the first movie (though it is, at this point, barely higher than the second).

But you don’t care about imdb scoring, as that’s why you’ve come for my opinion. And in my opinion, this movie is not nearly as good as the first, but it’s a lot better than the second. It gets a Keanu ‘Whoa’ from me.

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