Hello, horror fans! Welcome to another edition of Underrated Horror Movie of the Month. Twice every month, on the second and fourth Fridays, I come here to talk about films that I feel are underrated and underloved. No subgenre, decade or location is left unchecked for the best gems in the genre. In this edition, I bring you the 1997 horror mystery movie, Cube. Stick around to see why I think this one is underrated.
What happens when a bunch of people from different walks of life wake up together in a small room? That is the situation the characters in Cube find themselves navigating. To make matters worse, there are seemingly endless rooms, each unique, all cubes, and all dangerous. The group, composed of a police officer, a math wiz, an escape artist, a building architect, a scientist and a disabled individual, must work together to survive or risk their lives against the deadly traps.
This movie stars Nicole de Boer, Andrew Miller, David Hewlett, Maurice Dean Wint, Julian Richings, Wayne Robson and Nicky Guardagni. Vincenzo Natali directs the film, and the story is by André Nijelic, Graeme Manson and Natlai.
Cube has a 64 percent Tomatometer Score and a 76 percent Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fun Fact: This film received a sequel titled Cube 2: Hypercube and a prequel Cube Zero. It also got a remake in 2021. Unfortunately, it is not available everywhere.
As always, I dove into the plethora of online reviews to address the most common issues with the film. Based on my findings, many viewers seem to agree the premise is incredible, but the characters are lacking. I concur entirely regarding the premise; it is intriguing. However, I have some thoughts on the characters.
For the most part, I kept seeing statements about the characters’ lack of depth and likeability. It is important to consider the reasoning behind making characters likely in horror. In most films within this genre, the most relatable individuals are either the first to die or one of the last, but either way, they bite the dust. Unless it is the final girl. Considering that, the likeability’s purpose is so viewers will root for them and become upset when they inevitably become a victim.
Back to the people depicted in Cube, any of them could die at any time due to not knowing which rooms are traps and which are safe. I think the writers did not want viewers to become overly attached. While I am a sucker for excellent character development, it would not have fit nor been pertinent to this movie. All the characters are trapped in the same cubes; there is no need for backstories. We get a little on each person, and that works well here. The purpose here was to learn about the device they are in, not the individuals. It would have become too unnecessarily complicated if we had to sort through each person’s history and how the experience changes them.
Along the same line of thought, several reviews mentioned the acting. Remember that Cube is a fairly low-budget film, but overall, I have no complaints about this aspect. They each played their part the way I can only assume it was written. They did so with dedication and a distinct lack of cheesiness. Was it award-winning? Not for the most part, maybe Andrew Miller as Kazan. He was spectacular in that role. Perhaps some characters are hated because they were written and acted so well. That is the case with my views.
The story is brilliant, and the sets are epic. If for no other reason, give Cube a chance for those aspects alone. It is entertaining and enjoyable. I watch it any time I need a sure thing. This film is available to stream for free on Tubi, Freevee, VUDU and the Roku Channel. It is also available to rent or purchase from Prime Video and AppleTV.
There you have it, horror fans, another underrated film in the books. Have you seen Cube? Let us know in the comments. Also, let me know which movie you think I should feature next. Until next time, enjoy the trailer below, stay spooky, and above all, watch more horror movies!