31 Screams in October, Vol. 4, #9: Cube 2: Hypercube (2002)

Posted: October 9, 2018 in Movie Review

9. Cube 2 (2002)

Director: Andrzej Sekuła

Starring: Kari Matchett, Geraint Wyn Davies, Grace Lynn Kung, Matthew Ferguson, Neil Crone

It happens far too often: A horror movie gains popularity, a sequel is made, the sequel sucks but people watch it anyway. “Cube 2: Hypercube” is no exception. The original, while not perfect, is at least good at setting up an intriguing premise, features sets that are pleasing to look at, is terrific at building tension and presents you with characters you can get behind. “Cube 2” has NONE of that, and instead focuses all of its attention on two things: 1) Adding things like fluctuating gravity and time distortions as hazards. 2) Taking the least interesting (barely hinted at) aspect of the first film, government conspiracy theories, and making it the main plot device. All of this would be fine if the objective were to stumble out of the gate.

Before any of the really bonkers stuff happens, you notice almost immediately that the cube in this movie is different from the first. This one is brightly lit, and the doors now operate by pressure sensors rather than by manually turning a switch. Eight characters are introduced. In place of the autistic Kazan, this movie gives us both a blind girl and an elderly woman afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Yay! It takes zero time to figure out who (if it’s to be anyone) will end up as the lone survivor among this group, as the bulk of the focus is placed upon Kate (Kari Matchett), whose life outside of the cube is that of a psychotherapist.

Through her interactions with the others, we’re supposed to have the impression that Kate is good at reading people. Thing is, there are constant references throughout “Cube 2” as to a notorious computer hacker named Alex Trusk. This name would not come up as constantly as it does throughout the film if one of the cube’s eight prisoners wasn’t going to turn out to be Alex all along. It’s so blatantly obvious who it’s going to be, yet it catches Kate off-guard.

The time distortions cause some of the characters to witness their own deaths from an alternate timeline. This also allows for the cast to be killed off multiple times in several different ways. Many are not terribly inventive. Those that are inventive are betrayed by the bad special effects. This might seem cool at first, but it robs their final death scenes of any emotion, because you’re just expecting them to randomly pop up again like they had been before.

The number code “60659” shows up everywhere the group turns. No one has a clue as to what it refers. They only know, courtesy of one of the movie’s first victims, that it has something to do with how they’re supposed to find their way out. So naturally it isn’t until the absolute last second that Kate is able to figure it out. This leads to an ending that would have sucked if it were merely unsatisfying. But “Cube 2” doesn’t stop there, choosing to answer the one question that should have remained unresolved: Who is behind all of this? A reveal of this nature does nothing to help “Cube 2,” and only serves to injure the original film.

While the movie was playing itself out, I sat there willing to cut “Cube 2” some slack for its shoddy acting performances and CGI that probably looked lousy even back in 2002. What I couldn’t ultimately forgive was the blatant disregard for everything that made the first “Cube” so much fun to watch. I can’t recommend that anyone seek out “Cube 2.” Yet, someone out there must find this movie entertaining, because there also exists a “Cube” prequel.

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