Cube Zero (2004)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Movie Connections:
> Cube (1997)
> Cube 2: Hypercube (2002)
> Cube Zero (2004)
Ernie Barbarash Ernie Barbarash
Zachary Bennett Zachary Bennett
David Huband David Huband
Stephanie Moore Stephanie Moore
Martin Roach Martin Roach
Terri Hawkes Terri Hawkes

5.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Escape Film, Psychological Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Horror, Science Fiction
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Review by Christopher
Added: March 06, 2005
Ryjkin is the first participant inside the cube. He tests each room by throwing in one of his shoes while holding onto the shoe lace. He enters one room that testing failed on. Pipes come out of the walls and start spraying him with what seems like water. Moments after the spraying stops, it starts melting his skin to the point where only his clothes are left. There's two men watching Ryjkin's death on a monitor. Wynn and Dodd, two men that take part in the cube. Each person that is put into the cube has a file. Pictures, forms, etc.. Their job is to keep track of those files and store them where they are needed to be stored.

Everything was cozy until Wynn got a look at the new batch of prisoners. He quickly gains a crush on one of the females, Rain. Wynn does a memory scan on Rain and sees how she arrived in the cube. Her and her daughter were running from several men dressed in all black with guns in a forest. After the two are captured, they are propped on medical tables where a chip is inserted in their brain. The chip allows Wynn do delete her memory, and that he did. Back in the cube, Rain stumbles upon the rest of the group. It comes to light that no one remembers a thing, except for Rain. It seems as if a little of her memory wasn't erased.

When the group continues through the cube with the shoe tactic, it once again fails as one of the men is wrapped in several different strands of fish wire, then ripped to pieces. After steering clear of that room, they notice a group of letters that label each room. Rain begins to make a map, using her hair pin and black shoe polish that's on her boot as a pen, along with the back of her shirt as paper. It was at that point they figure out that everything they have is with them for a reason. Either that or they just underestimated the group. Back in the office, Wynn decides to do a little investigating of his own.

Wynn is searching through Rain's file when he notices that there is no consent form. In other words, she didn't sign anything that said she agreed to participate in any sort of project. Every other file had a consent form in it. It then dawns on Wynn that he had seen her before. He grabs a recent newspaper with a protest group on the front page, she was one of them. Up until this point, everyone working there was told that people are put in the cube for committing a crime that sentences them to the death penalty. They have a choice to take the death penalty, or be tested on in several government experiments. Wynn tries to get Dodd to call the higher ups to inform them about this.

As they reach for the phone, it starts to ring. Someone has made it to the end. It's now their job to take care of him. After everything is prepared, the monitor clicks on and it ends up being one of the men that worked with Wynn and Dodd. The prisoner is asked to state his name. Afterwards, he's asked if he believes in god. He answers is no. There's a no button and a yes button on the machine they are using to view and communicate with the prisoner. Once the no button is clicked, flames shoot up from the floor and burn the prisoner alive. That was the last straw for Wynn. He had to break into the cube to save Rain so she doesn't end up like his fellow employee.

While Wynn is in the cube searching for Rain, three of the higher ups pay Dodd a visit. They start messing with the computers to find Wynn and destroy him. Dodd is told to do the same with the others. When one of the girls gets trapped in a room by herself, Dodd brings up a needle from the floor. She steps on it and it knocks her out. When the other three prisoners find the girl, her face and arms were eaten off by a sort of bacteria. She attacks one of the other prisoners, which ends up infecting him with the virus. Haskell, one of the prisoners, gets rid of the infected man. That's when Wynn arrives to help them out.

Spoilers are contained in this paragraph. If you have not seen the first film but plan on doing so, or would like to keep the ending of this film a surprise, skip to the next paragraph. Wynn and Rain end up escaping the cube, but Wynn gets caught. He gets put on the same medical table that Rain was put on. Not only was a chip inserted in his brain, but they also took pieces out of his brain. Which ended up making him mentally disabled. They put him back in the cube with a group of other prisoners to find him. He's found clicking two of his fingers against his palms and wanting to go back to the blue room. It was Kazan from the first film.

A prequel to the film Cube, with once again, a different director (Ernie Barbarash). Barbarash had wrote and produced Hypercube, the sequel to Cube. So I didn't expect a whole lot from this film. But surprisingly enough, it ended up being better than Hypercube. The prequel was heavily based on the first film. The prisoners wore the same uniforms, rooms had to be tested for traps, the outside of the cube was a replica of the first one, the rooms shifted the same, the doors had a handle that needed to be turned, each room was a different color, and there was no nudity or sex involved.

On the down side, only two of the prisoners were built up and had backgrounds. Haskell was a solider for the people who ran the cube. Rain didn't have a background on what she did, but rather how she got there. The story was too based on why people were being put in the cube, which is good and all considering that's what the prequel should have been. But putting some details behind the characters instead of just their names would have been relatively easy. The prisoners didn't seem to worried never finding a way out. Each of them placed concern on it a little bit, but the acting made it seem like it was just a minor blip in their stay.

Thankfully there was several good things about the film. Traps from the first film were used. Such as a steel wired net, sound censored room with metal spikes coming from the walls, flames shooting from the walls, and possibly a fourth. Very cool to see those again. Much more gore than the first two as well. When the first prisoner had acid sprayed on him, his skin eventually poured out the bottom of his pants while the skin on his arms and face just peeled off. Then when the man had fish wire wrapped around his body, the inside of each part of his body that was ripped off was shown. One of the men had his entire body explode due to intense sound waves echoing through the room. Plus many more inventive deaths.

Computer generated images weren't completely relied on this time around. Only about three trapped rooms used it, the rest were all real. There was quite a bit of it used outside of the cube though. The eyes of the soldiers that were chasing Rain all had green eyes with a cloud-like effect inside of them. Whenever the cube would shift, the outside was always CGI, but it was that way in the first one as well. CGI was only used on one death and that was the one with the sound room. There was a few other small things, but they weren't important enough to the film to mention here.

It was a good prequel, but it's not from the original writer/director (Vincenzo Natali). Sure the film explains a lot, but if Natali wanted the first one explained, he would have put it together himself. How did Barbarash figure that Natali was pointing to the prisoners only being there because of a government conspiracy? Or the question of god is the only way you survived after escaping the cube? Or even the story behind Wynn and Kazan. Natali only made one film so the viewer could think for themselves of what happened to them once they escaped, or if more people would continue being put in the cube, or why the prisoners really ended up there. Even though the film was good, it still shouldn't have been made.

Final Conclusion: 7/10
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Chad #1: Chad - added 09/12/2008, 05:33 AM
This one was better than Hypercube by just a hair, but again, not as good as the original. I was sort of disappointed with how this film seemed to have been made just to explain some of the things that were purposefully left unexplained in the original film, but even though that bugged me, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy it. 8/10.
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