Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Most of what I had heard about this film is not true.

It's not all set in one room.

It wasn't made recently.

It's not quite as clever as its reputation.

What I will endorse it for though, is for being fun, and gripping.

A handful of people are trapped in a series of cubic rooms. They don't know each other, have no idea how they came to be there, or even why they have each been snatched from their everyday lives.

Each room has six exits – one in the centre of each wall. Each exit leads to a similar room. They don't know how many rooms there are, in any direction. (they theorise that there is a cube of cubes) They have nothing with which to measure time. Not even a pen.

It's a great device for stripping away specifics and examining purely a group of characters, and how they relate to each other. Unfortunately, most of the characters are not that interesting, while those pesky specifics that I mentioned are muddled and contradictory.

One room features blades several metres long emerging from the walls, although the walls are too thin to have contained them.

At one point they are about to drop-down into a room that they believe forms part of the bigger cube's wall, although this would mean that they were already in a room forming part of the same wall. But that's okay, because once they've dropped-down into it they actually head through another door in one of that room's walls to another room, the opposite wall of which is the one forming part of the bigger cube's wall. Sincerely – were they muddled, or am I?

We're told that there is no ventilation, yet there are ventilation slats in every doorway.

Calculating time, Quentin says that he has a 5 o'clock shadow, although he hasn't.

I'm terrible at maths, absolutely terrible, but even I know that even numbers and anything ending in a 5 (except 5) cannot be prime. Maths genius Leaven doesn't actually get this wrong, but it sure takes her a while to work it out.

That's right – one of their number is a maths genius. Well, actually two. And another of them, apparently by coincidence, helped to design the labyrinth that they are all trapped in. The word lucky doesn't even begin to cover the series of flukes that they enjoy.

All right, I probably sound like I'm whinging, but this is a film that invites the viewer to use their brain, so I think my asking questions is justified.

This is a film that poses many questions, but offers only guesses as answers. I have nothing against an ambiguous ending, but anyone can write a film that asks lots of questions without answering any of them. Anyone.

Where the film truly soars though, is in its central concept. While it's never revealed quite what the cube's purpose is, the theory Worth offers is mind-blowingly acceptable.

This certainly held my attention tight throughout, and I enjoyed it so much that I suspect it's a film I may one day watch again.

(available here)


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