(1997) dir. Vincenzo Natali
High on concept, low on acting and clever character development, Cube is one of those interesting films that you kind of wish could have been just a little bit better. Well, when I say, YOU wish, I actually mean I wish, and I say this because I seem to have esteemed this film somewhat below the average of most of the people that I know. Low-budget, indie sci-fi (surprisingly six years old), I remember reading about this film when it came out, but it somehow slipped through the cracks until it was recently recommended to me.
Five characters find themselves trapped in a series of interconnected square-shaped rooms, some of which are booby-trapped, and must try to escape. The lack of narrative explication makes for a nicely open-ended and somewhat philosophical journey for the protagonists, though the character actors are largely emoting histrionically rather than blending into their storyline, the viewer is constantly aware of them “acting,” which detracts significantly from the narrative. The only thing that I can say in their defense is that the dialogue is lacking as well, and the story relies heavily on the audience’s interest in the characters.