REVIEW: CUBE ZERO

CAST

Zachary Bennett (Desire)
David Huband (The LOokout)
Stephanie Moore (john Q)
Michael Riley (MR. Nobody)
Terri Hawkes (Crazy MOon)
Diego Klattenhoff (The Blacklist)

The film starts with a man, Ryjkin, trying to escape from the Cube. He enters a room and is sprayed with liquid that he thinks is only water. However, when he rubs the back of his hand due to itchiness, his flesh liquifies and falls off. This soon happens all over his body, as he then melts on the floor and dies as a result.A man named Eric is watching a video feed of this in an observation room with a co-worker named Dodd. Afterwards, Eric is shown to be sketching a portrait of Dodd in the form of a superhero called Chessman, while playing chess with him at the same time. Dodd has the chess board in front of him, but Eric is at another table, simply drawing and naming his moves. Eric seems to be vastly intelligent, calculating all of Dodd’s moves. After Eric wins, he asks Dodd questions about their missing colleagues. Dodd tells him not to ask too many questions or get involved with the occupants of the Cube because it wouldn’t make “those upstairs” happy.Both Eric and Dodd get an order from “upstairs” that asks them to record the dream of a subject, Cassandra Rains. In her dream, Eric sees that she was captured while walking in a pleasant forest with her daughter named Anna. After waking, Cassandra meets the other occupants of the Cube. One of the men, Robert Haskell, has a tattoo on his forehead like the soldier who captured Cassandra. However, Haskell, like everyone else, has no recollection of his former life or how he got there – he only knows his name. According to what Eric and Dodd know, everyone in the Cube faced a death sentence and was presented with a choice: Go into the Cube with their memory completely erased, or take the death sentence. For this process, a unique consent form must be signed for someone to be placed in the Cube. Eric discovers that there is no consent form in Cassandra’s file and argues with Dodd that they should inform the people “upstairs” about this. Meanwhile, Eric and Dodd get “lunch”, in the form of a flavored pill, from “upstairs” via the elevator.Just when Eric is about to make a call to the superiors, the phone rings. They are instructed to perform the “exit procedure” for a subject who has reached one of the exits of the Cube; one of their former colleagues, Owen. During the exit procedure, Owen is asked if he remembers his name, which he answers correctly. Owen is then asked if he believes in God, to which he says no, which prompts Eric to press the “no” button, which immediately incinerates Owen. Eric argues with Dodd over the fate of Owen, on which he says that he said “no”, and that no one said yes. Eric realizes that the Cube is inhumane and that those “upstairs” are planning to place people in the Cube randomly without consent. He decides to enter the Cube to help Cassandra escape it. He distracts Dodd and enters the elevator, which contain only three buttons: “UP”, to the “upstairs” room; “MIDDLE”, pointing to their office; and “DOWN”, to one of the entrances into the Cube, which he selects.Jax, one of the Cube’s supervisors who monitors the employees, and two of his analysts arrive from “upstairs” to stop Eric from helping Cassandra, but despite their efforts to stop them, Eric and Cassandra make it to the exit room with the help of Dodd, who sabotages the control panels servicing the Cube. He then swallows the main power coupler for the cameras inside the Cube in an act of defiance. Jax paralyzes him and guts him open alive, retrieving the coupler. The sabotage incapacitates the Cube, causing every trap to shut down like Eric planned. He informs Cassandra that they only have 10 minutes to escape before the Cube enters “Reset Mode,” which sterilizes the rooms by vaporizing everything inside.Once Eric and Cassandra reach an “exit room,” Haskell catches them. They escape using a secret auxiliary exit just as the Cube enters “Reset Mode,” which vaporizes Haskell. They escape into a lake and end up in a forest; however, soldiers searching for them have already arrived. Cassandra manages to escape, but Eric is shot by a dart and passes out. Eric wakes up in a surgery room and confronts Jax, who reveals that Cassandra may have gotten away. He claims that Eric has been found guilty of “high treason” and “sabotage” against “country and some mystical God”, and also tells him that “your sentence has been extended for two more lifetimes”. Jax claims Eric has already been convicted in a trial and shows him his consent form, saying he agreed to become a test subject many years ago but does not remember. Against his will, his brain is surgically altered, as Eric dreams about Cassandra reuniting with her daughter and praising Eric as a superhero. Eric is then lobotomized and put back in the Cube. After his brain was altered, Eric is left mentally handicapped. He repeatedly mentions the color of the room and has a repetitive twitch in his right hand. He is found by new captives of the Cube who wonder how he could have possibly survived, mirroring Kazan’s initial appearance in the first film, hinting that he and Kazan may have been given the same condition, or even be the same person.This movie is awesome and is a perfect prequel to the original, and far more superior than the first sequel.

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REVIEW: CUBE 2: HYPERCUBE

CAST

Kari Matchett (Earth: Final COnflict)
Geraint Wyn Davies (Forever Knight)
Grace Lynn Kung (P2)
Neil Crone (Hollywoodland)
Matthew Ferguson (Billy Madison)

The film starts with a young woman named Becky (Greer Kent), shown to be trapped in the Cube. She enters another room, but unknown to her, the room has reversed gravity, as she is pulled up, and it is implied that she is killed.Some time later, a woman named Kate (Kari Matchett), detective Simon (Geraint Wyn Davies), a blind girl named Sasha (Grace Lynn Kung), engineer Jerry (Neil Crone), game developer Max (Matthew Ferguson), lawyer Julia (Lindsey Connell), and an elderly woman named Mrs. Paley (Barbara Gordon) find themselves trapped in brightly lit cubes, each with a panel on each of the six sides, which are doors to other rooms. They come across Colonel Thomas Maguire (Bruce Gray), who says that they have to solve the code in order to leave the mysterious place. Just as he finishes, a wall begins to close in on the group. The group escapes while Thomas stays behind, while Kate and Simon watch in horror as Thomas is disintegrated by the wall. Later experiences around the cube reveal that gravity can operate in different directions in each room, while Mrs. Paley, who is revealed to be a retired theoretical mathematician, and Jerry, realize that they may be in a tesseract, or a hypercube. Kate notices the numbers “60659” everywhere they go.The group soon realizes they are connected to Izon, a defense contractor. While in conversation, Mrs. Paley opens a panel to reveal her being killed by Simon, who is decapitated soon after by crystal beams. Jerry thinks that it is a parallel universe, while Max and Julia think it is an optical illusion. Later, while the group is sleeping, Simon realizes that he is in the tesseract to look for Becky, a missing Izon worker and the first person revealed in the film. Meanwhile, Sasha hears a noise and awakens everyone, due to her acute hearing. The group finds a floating square in the middle of the room, which grows into shifting variations of a tesseract, before expanding into a lethal and rapidly spinning frame. The group flees into another room, but Jerry is injured by the tesseract. Trying to call Jerry, the rest of the group watches as Jerry is shredded by the tesseract, which grows rapidly. Kate remains to save Sasha, who is still trapped in the room, narrowly avoiding death as they group in one of the corners of the room where the tesseract can’t reach, as the tesseract conforms back to a cube and disappears. Sasha and Kate are separated from the group, as a result.Simon starts to suspect that Mrs. Paley is an undercover spy, so he gags and ties her up, but crystal beams start protruding from the walls. Simon tries to save Mrs. Paley, but when he sees that there isn’t enough time, as the clinging Mrs. Paley refuses to release him, he stabs her with his knife. Max and Julia, disturbed that Simon killed Mrs. Paley, leave and abandon him. Julia tells Max she must be dreaming, and then kisses him, because she says she would never kiss him in the real world. They begin to have sex, but unbeknownst to them, they are in a room that is zero-gravity and time dilated, and age prematurely and die, as Kate finds the corpses floating in the air later, still in mid-coitus. Simon, alone and hungry, goes insane. He encounters a parallel Jerry and the missing Becky, killing both of them.Meanwhile, Kate finds grisly alternate realities of her death in other rooms, and is horrified. Sasha tells Kate that time and space are distorted where they are, that the tesseract will implode and reality is collapsing. She reveals that she is Alex Trusk, a computer hacker who is responsible for the creation of the tesseract, who also reveals that when she discovered that Izon was putting people inside the tesseract, she tried to stop their operation, but was pursued so she “fled into the only place they wouldn’t follow”: the tesseract. Kate, however, still believes that there is a way out. Kate then finds Simon and stabs him in the eye after he grabs her in another room, as Simon appears behind Alex, old and blind in one eye, proving Alex’s space-time theory. Alex claims that they “are all dead”, which causes Simon to snap her neck, believing that if they are all dead that it won’t really matter if he kills her now. Kate finds that the tesseract is shrinking, and kills Simon with the knife. She looks at the numerous duplicates of Jerry’s watch and realizes that “60659” is the time that the tesseract will implode; 6:06:59. and that she is there to take back Alex’s necklace which was filled with confidential information on Izon. The hypercube starts to wear away, and Kate opens a panel in the bottom, revealing a black void. At 6:06:59, she jumps in just when the Hypercube implodes.Kate wakes up in the hands of Izon authorities in an unknown factory. She gives them the necklace, but because of their confidentiality, she is shot in the head and killed by one of the Izon operatives. An Izon authority reports to an anonymous and unidentified source that “Phase 2 is terminated”, as the operatives leave the facility,Despite the low budget and practically unknown cast, the film manages to be clever, intriguing, thought-provoking and highly enjoyable. .

REVIEW: CUBE

CAST

Maurice Dean Wint (Robocop: Prime Directives)
Nicole de Boer (The Dead Zone)
Nicky Guadagni (Silent Hill)
David Hewlett (Stargate: Atlantis)
Andrew Miller (Nothing)
Wayne Robson (Wrong Turn)
Julian Richings (Kingdom Hospital)

A man named Alderson awakens in a cube-shaped room with a hatch in each wall, the ceiling and the floor, each of which leads to other cube-shaped rooms, identical except for their color. He enters an orange room and, without warning, is killed by a trap.In another such room, five people – Quentin, Worth, Holloway, Rennes, and Leaven – meet. None of them knows where they are or how they got there. Quentin informs the others that some rooms contain traps, which he learned by nearly being killed by one. Rennes assumes each trap is triggered by a motion detector and tests each room by throwing one of his boots in first. Leaven notices numbers inscribed in the passageways between rooms. Quentin recognizes Rennes as “the Wren”, an escape artist renowned for getting out of jails. After declaring one room trap-free, Rennes enters and is killed when he is sprayed with acid. The others realize that there are different kinds of detectors, and Quentin deduces that this trap was triggered by heat.Quentin believes each person has a reason for being there. Leaven is a mathematics student, Holloway a physician and conspiracy theorist, and the surly Worth declines to talk about himself. Leaven hypothesizes that any room marked with a prime number is a trap. They find a mentally challenged man named Kazan, whom Holloway insists they bring along. When Quentin nearly dies in a room deemed safe by Leaven’s calculations, tensions rise due to personality conflicts and lack of faith in Leaven’s system. Quentin provokes Worth into an argument about finding the exit, and Worth accidentally reveals that he has knowledge of the Cube. Worth admits that he designed the Cube’s outer shell for a shadowy bureaucracy and guesses that its original purpose has been forgotten; they have been imprisoned within simply to put it to use.Worth’s knowledge of the outer shell’s size allows Leaven to determine that each side of the Cube is 26 rooms across and that there are 17,576 rooms in total. She guesses that the numbers indicate the Cartesian coordinates of the rooms. The group moves toward the nearest edge as determined by her theory, but each of the rooms near the outer wall are trapped. Rather than backtrack, they travel silently through a room with a sound-activated trap. After Kazan makes a sound and nearly causes Quentin’s death, Quentin threatens Kazan. Holloway defends Kazan and provokes Quentin into an argument by calling him a Nazi. The acrimonious argument escalates until Quentin slaps her, further increasing tension within the group. When they reach the edge, Holloway scouts the gap between the Cube and its outer shell, but slips during a violent quake; Quentin initially saves her, but then lets her fall to her death and reports it to the others as an accident.Quentin attempts to persuade Leaven to abandon the others with him and makes a sexual advance, but she rejects him. When Quentin becomes aggressive, Worth intervenes; Quentin beats him savagely and drops him through a floor hatch. Worth laughs hysterically at what he finds — Rennes’s corpse. The group is demoralized by the thought of having been wandering in circles. Worth realizes that the rooms move periodically through the Cube, and this is the source of the quaking. Leaven deduces that traps are not tagged by prime numbers, but by powers of prime numbers. Much to Quentin’s surprise, Kazan reveals himself to be an autistic savant[6] who can quickly do prime factorisations mentally. With Kazan’s help, Leaven guides them to a bridge room which will lead them out of the maze in two movements. Worth preemptively ambushes Quentin and leaves him behind, though Worth declines to leave the Cube, as he has lost faith in humanity.Leaven objects and convinces Worth to join her, but Quentin reappears, kills her, and mortally wounds Worth. As Quentin moves to kill Kazan, Worth expends the last of his strength to grab Quentin’s leg, pinning him in the passageway as the rooms shift again. Quentin is torn apart, and Worth dies seconds later, next to Leaven. Kazan slowly walks into a bright light.From start to finish, a shocking, chilling, thriller of a film. Don’t be put off by the lack of big names – this film is absolutely Superb.