Cube Zero (2004)
I think you'll agree that tagline does appropriately reflect the opinion of most viewers.
Genre: Sci-Fi Horror Mystery Thriller (Canada)
Starring: Zachary Bennett ("Road To Avonlea"), Stephanie Moore ("Queer As Folk")
Directed By: Ernie Barbarash
Overview: In this prequel to the original Cube, one of the Cube maintenance men descends into the maze of traps to rescue a woman.
Acting: Horrifically melodramatic as expected, but some scenes were just over the top. The lack of trust amidst equally trapped victims shows us plainly that the director is obviously also the writer, and he rattles weakly in both.
Cinematography: The images are good. Simple dark rooms and up close shots of really gory deaths kept true to the original film. This is what you'll rent this movie for.
Script: The script had some good writing, but when it mattered it failed, and was poorly delivered by the actors, though I blame the director for this. I'm sure his vision unfolded the way he wanted, sadly, not the way I wanted.
Plot: The plot stared off really good, here's some people trapped in a maze of rooms, trying to get out. This time we focus on the maintenance guys and the experiments they perform, which is frankly really unfair after all. The middle though, was filled with the same old traps as the original movie. I can (and did) come up with a few more original traps than were used, but I suppose the director blew the budget and ended up having to use stock footage. The end was appropriate but a real let-down, and leaves a lot of questions unanswered, namely: Who actually let this guy do another sequel?
Mood: The mood was a little less paranoia-inducing from the original, though this one give us more backstory such as why the Cube was invented and by whom. Unfortunately the writer decided to make it hyper-futuristic instead of the 'conspiracy theorist's vision of unknown technology' like the original implied. With a budget not adequate to sustain the vision, the future looks retarded, with tattooed foreheads and metal gloves bleeping over Saran-wrap keyboards. The guy with the prosthetic eye looked ridiculous, as though a ball of tin-foil was stuck there. Troma Studios should sue these guys for ripping them off.