Sometimes the central plot of a film is strong enough that it can overcome a low budget and sub-par acting. Cube is an excellent example of this. Filmed in what feels like — at most — 2 rooms and with a cast of unknowns, Cube literally drops the characters and audience directly into the mystery. The film takes clear inspiration from The Twilight Zone and specifically the episode “Five Characters in Search of an Exit.” Unlike most Twilight Zone rip-offs or homages though, Cube manages to take the core idea from the original and expand upon it in different and unique ways.
Cube is a small, tense thriller that slowly unravels in twists and turns with every new room the characters explore inside the enormous, come-to-life J.J. Abrams Mystery Box ™. At its heart, it is a brain teaser. It’s smartly executed in a manner that keeps the audience guessing along with the characters. As it progresses, it manages to develop tension alongside its mystery and keeps the audience engaged until the very last frame.
Anyone familiar with Twilight Zone episodes will understand that the endings can be hit and miss. With Cube taking so much inspiration from the show, it’s understandable that it would have the same divisive ending. Regardless of the film’s resolution, it is a testament to the idea that great storytelling can overcome everything — from bad acting to a small budget.
But whoever had the idea that the characters should talk with buttons in their mouths for half of the movie should have been blacklisted.