Cube is the quintessential example of one of my favourite story arcs in sci-fi, put ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and watch how they react. The aforementioned Cube trapped six strangers in an inescapable, highly dangerous cube. It made a substantial amount in the box office, leading to a sequel, A sequel with the question of where do you go from here?, in 2003, Andrzej Sekuła took the idea to a new dimension in Cube2 Hypercube.
Trapped inside this symmetrical, towering, prison, we meet a psychotherapist called Kate who has no idea how she got here or how she can get out, as she navigates this labyrinth she meets a private investigator, a lawyer, a game developer, a blind computer hacker, and an engineer, a mix of genders and ages agree to team up. As the group navigates the constantly bright cube, they experience what they believe to be hallucinations, and the constant booby-traps are no help. The group’s sanity is constantly depleted as the dangerous rules of their reality grow ever more incomprehensible.
The Cube itself has had a bit of a design change in the 6 years since we have last seen it. It is now constantly bright, making keeping track over the passage of time that much harder. It is also purely white simulating the torture of permanent daylight. Speaking of torture. The ghoulish booby traps are augmented with more reality-warping elements, that bend all perceptions of time and space. With some cases rapidly decomposing remains of former friends ready to greet you as you enter the next chamber. In others, giant walls of C.G.I. disintegration slowly descend.
The characters are an eclectic bunch, following in the rich tradition of the first film, and watching their interactions, and how they deal with this out-of-the-question situation. The fact that they’re not portrayed by major stars of Canadian film industry helps and thus they feel like real people picked off the street. Making the film at times feel like a prime time T.V. game show (with the film’s name being similar to The Cube doesn’t help). Although with the changes to the Cube, and the youthful look of the majority of the cast, it does present a hipper and minimalist aesthetic to the proceedings compared to the industrial and steampunk Cube of the first film.
From the offset, it may look like that the Cube2 is more of the same, yet this sequel iterates on the ideas left open from its predecessor. It makes the world feel wider but at the same time still shrouded in an engrossing mystery. Much like the tesseract in the fourth dimension, Hypercube just adds to the classic experience.
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