Cube 2: Hypercube


Rating 3

Directed by Andrzej Sekula

Written by Ernie Bararash, Sean Hood and Lauren McLaughlin

Starring Kari Matchett and Geraint Wyn Davies

‘Cube’ was a very low budget ($365,000 CAD) Canadian horror film co-written and directed by Vicenzo Natali. Widely compared to the writings of Franz Kafka, it was critically acclaimed and became a cult hit, although not so much so in America. 29 reviews collected at Rotten Tomatoes result in a 59% rating and the film grossed $500,000 at the American box office. The film is, perhaps, most famous for what is, effectively, a single small set, making a virtue of the tiny budget.

‘Cube 2: Hypercube’ followed in 2002. This time the Polish director Andrzej Sekula was at the helm. Sekula was the cinematographer on ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’. This film has a 56% rating at Rotten Tomatoes from nine reviews, but it is largely considered to be very poor compared to the first film. One of the main criticisms -- apart from an ending that is hated by most hardcore devotees of the Cubeverse -- is the supposedly dire quality of acting.

I can’t identify a problem with the acting, which seems to me to be on a par with that found in the first film. Personally, I think you have to go a very long way to find acting as bad as that featured in the 1993 British horror film ‘Beyond Bedlam’. Elizabeth Hurley, in particular, gives a performance of almost surreal awfulness.

‘Cube 2’, like the first film, is an ensemble piece, but the best-known actor here is Kari Matchett, who has subsequently made her name in American television shows like ‘Invasion’, ‘24’ and ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’ and ‘Heartland’. The director makes the most of her distinctive features by frequently framing her face in close-up.

One of the interesting themes of ‘Cube 2’ is the behaviour of the character Simon, played by the Welsh actor Geraint Wyn Davies. The cube exists within constantly shifting time and space. As Simon becomes increasingly psychotic he turns to cannibalism, repeatedly killing and eating the same person over and over again, desperate for survival despite having no apparent means of escape and no quality of life.

A third film, ‘Cube Zero’, was made in 2004. This one was co-written and directed by Ernie Barbarash, who also co-wrote the second film. This third film took the tried and tested route and was a “prequel” to ‘Cube’. It also takes the action outside of the cube itself. I didn’t think it was especially good.


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