Directed by Ernie Barbarash [Other horror films: Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming (2007), They Wait (2007), Abduction (2019)]
An inside look, if you would, of the operators of the Cube, Cube Zero is a very interesting and very flawed movie.
The concept of this film, looking at the Cube from the outside perspective as opposed to an inside one, is cool, but it sort of negates the purpose of the first two movies. More so, it brings even more questions to the table that are never answered.
Philosophically, this movie does have something to offer up to think about, most prominently at what point does just “taking orders” go too far. Still, there are some other questions, such as if an individual does a bad thing, but forgets about it, should they still be punished, and similar thoughts. There’s certainly more to this movie than what’s on the surface, in short.
Insofar as acting goes, it was a bit of a mixed bag. I liked the main character Wynn (Zachary Bennett) well enough, but part of me wonders why he even went for a job working in the Cube to begin with (which is, as I mentioned earlier, one of the many additional questions this flick brings to the forefront). Wynn’s partner, Dodd (David Huband) was decent, though was a bit shaky at times. And as for almost everyone else? They were passable, but not really memorable.
Aside from the character Jax, played by Michael Riley. He was moderately over-the-top, a bit goofy, and really felt out of place in a movie like this, in my opinion. Many other commentators have said that he’s the high point of the film, but I just don’t see it. He just seemed so ludicrous as to take away from the interesting aspects of both this governmental agency and the society as a whole. Cube Zero asks some good questions, but throwing in a character like Jax just doesn’t do much to lend credibility to the more serious aspects of the film.
The gore, though there’s not a whole lot, is good. At the very least, it’s better by far than the second film, and the body melting scene near the beginning can rival any death in the Cube series, as far as I can recall. True, some CGI looked really hooky, but for the most part, as far as deaths go, this movie did okay.
The ending was a mixed bag, much like the movie as a whole. I sort of liked what they were going for, but at the same time, it doesn’t really add anything to the mix. Cube Zero took a bunch of interesting ideas and deep questions, and blended together, unfortunately it comes out 50/50. The movie certainly isn’t bad, and I do find it better, generally speaking, than Hypercube, but it doesn’t match anywhere close with the original 1997 flick.