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The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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COLUMN: ‘Cube’: ‘Saw’ before ‘Saw’

Sia DeyKoontz
Drew Coffey

Late at night, I decided to put off a handful of assignments and watch an old sci-fi/thriller film called “Cube” from 1997.

Let’s just say, I’ve never been more regretful of not doing my homework.

The film stars Maurice Dean Wint, Nicole de Boer and David Hewlett and was directed by Vincenzo Natali.

It follows a handful of different characters as they wake up in a highly advanced and confusing cube prison. Oh yeah, and the cube is littered with booby traps.

If this reminds you of another horror film, just wait, we’ll get there.

With the positives, I can say that the film definitely acts as an intriguing mystery, catching your attention and making you wonder what the purpose of this death trap really is.

This mystery continues as we learn more about who the unlucky prisoners are and how their personal lives might have led to their seemingly extraterrestrial imprisonment.

The overall design and look of the film also help with the off-kilter and uncomfortable tone of “Cube.” With every room the characters enter looking the exact same, it really puts you in the disorienting and lost state of mind they are experiencing.

Now if you saw, clever I know, the headline, you’ll see that this film establishes many narrative points as the 2004 horror and gory classic “Saw.”

With the characters having to trust each other even though they are strangers and the elaborate, trap-ridden environment they find themselves in, the inspiration from “Cube” is definitely present.

However, the one thing that makes this film such a cringy and obviously low budget is the atrocious acting.

With a budget of nearly $400,000, I don’t expect Denzel Washington or Robert De Niro to come out, but come on. The acting immediately takes me out and is so over the top in spots that I actually burst out laughing in this “intense” sci-fi horror film.

The dialogue is also very unrealistic and honestly makes the human characters seem like robotic aliens if there was such a thing.

Now, I am a sucker for low-budget films showing a cool and fresh concept, but sometimes the acting makes the film instantly forgettable.

Another aspect of the film that frustrated me was that we never saw what the purpose of the cube was.

The film definitely plays on the philosophical idea of humans’ purpose and how they turn on each other when faced with dangerous situations, but if I invest an hour and a half of my time, you have to give me some sort of explanation.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think a cool and creative ending would have added to the strange aura that this film expresses and, as a result, made it more impactful.

In conclusion, “Cube” is an interesting film that utilizes a disorienting tone and tells a story of how humans can destroy themselves in intense situations.

My overall rating: 2/5


Drew Coffey can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

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About the Contributor
Drew Coffey, Reporter, Columnist
Drew is a senior television and video production major. He previously served as a reporter for The News.

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