Cube Zero (2004)

We are introduced back into the terrifying world of the Cube!

Eric, played by Zach Bennett (Desire, Grindstone Road) and Dodd, played by David Huband (Cinderella Man, Dirty Pictures) sits in an office full of video screen watching the action unfold. To them, this is just another dull day at the office. Regularly taking breaks to play chess it is revealed that Eric has a savant style mind for the game and he is frequently able to predict the moves of Dodd in advance. Tasked with recording the dream of Cassandra, played by Stephanie Moore (Angel Eyes, John Q) they document her visions of being kidnapped and separated from her daughter.

Cassandra wakes up in a strange environment, an industrial-style building of many rooms. She is not alone and finds that she is trapped with others, Robert, played by Martin Roach, Jellico, played by Terri Hawkes (Bone Daddy, Dog Park), Meyerhold, played by Mike Nahrgang and Bartok, played by Richard McMillan. The occupants of this prison reveal that they have no memories of their former lives or how they became trapped within the cube, only remembering their names. As Eric and Dodd question who these people are, they are informed that the participants are criminals, under the sentence of death, who exchanged their death sentences in agreement to be tested in psychological experiments.

It becomes clear that the prison holds many deadly surprises for the group trapped inside as they try to find a way to navigate the rooms and escape. As the test subjects are killed one by one, falling victim to various traps, Casandra and Robert are the sole survivors.

Meanwhile, Eric and Dodd watch passively and are instructed to follow an “exit procedure” for their former colleague, Owen, who has successfully navigated to the exit of the cube. Owen is unsuccessful in his attempt to leave and his death causes Eric to question the validity of the cube as a voluntary test. Eric enters the cube in a desperate attempt to rescue the remaining participants and escape the deadly maze.

The organizers of the test learn of this betrayal and begin a chain of events to ensure that no one escapes. Inside and outside of The Cube the characters fight for their lives against mounting odds and dangers as the clock ominously ticks toward certain death for everyone. As the characters trapped within must face new dangers the race to escape will take a terrible and irreversible toll on everybody.

Cube Zero is a prequel to the 1997 Sci-Fi horror which became a cult classic. Not relying overly on special effects to convey the story the true drama comes from the palpable emotions portrayed by the cast. The connection between passive observers in the sterile world outside of the Cube is brought together jarringly with the tension and anxiety of the participants trapped within its walls. The atmosphere within the cube starkly contrasts against those outside in an allegory of test subjects feeling the very real emotions and circumstances of the tests they are being subjected to and the cold distance of the testers, simply going through the motions and recording the results of their tests with detached inhumanity. This serves to show how little influence that the characters have over their own lives as they are mercilessly controlled by others around them.