Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ernie Barbarash|
|Written by||Ernie Barbarash|
|Music by||Norman Orenstein|
|Distributed by||Lions Gate Entertainment|
|October 15, 2004|
Cube Zero is a 2004 Canadian independent science fiction psychological horror thriller film, written and directed by Ernie Barbarash. It is the third film in the Cube film series and a prequel to the other films.
Even though the first two films take place almost entirely within the maze, Cube Zero is set in both the interior and exterior of the cube. The film also reverts to the industrial-designed, colored rooms of the first film, but with a refreshed and redesigned set.
A man is trying to escape from the titular Cube. Upon entering a trapped room, he is sprayed with a liquid that rapidly melts his entire body. The rooms in the Cube are being monitored from a remote observation room by two technicians, Eric Wynn and Dodd, who are unaware of who their employers are. The pair are shown playing chess during work, whereupon Wynn demonstrates mental calculator abilities which he uses to predict Dodd's moves. Wynn has also a hobby of drawing comics that portray him and Dodd as superheroes.
Wynn and Dodd are ordered to record the dream of a subject, Cassandra Rains. In her dream, Wynn sees Rains captured while walking in a forest with her daughter. Rains wakes up in the Cube and meets the other occupants: one of them, Robert Haskell, has the same tattoo on his forehead as the soldier who captured her. However, Haskell, like everyone else, only knows his own name and has no recollection of his former life or how he got there. According to what Wynn and Dodd know, everyone in the Cube faced a death sentence and volunteered to partake in psychological experiments instead. Rains' consent form, however, is not found in her file. The captives venture through the Cube, testing each room for traps by throwing a boot in it: most of them are killed anyway until only Rains and Haskell remain.
A phone call from their superiors instructs Wynn and Dodd to perform an "exit procedure" for Owen, a former colleague of theirs and now a test subject, who has reached one of the exits of the Cube. The procedure fails after Owen answers no to a question - whether or not he believes in God - prompting Dodd to push a "no" button which causes Owen to be instantly incinerated. According to Dodd, no one has ever answered yes to any question posed during the exit procedure. Wynn concludes that the Cube is inhumane and people are being placed in it against their will, therefore decides to enter the Cube himself and rescue Rains: he enters an elevator that communicates with a Cube entrance and eventually joins Rains and Haskell.
Dodd is joined in the observation room by his supervisor Jax and two of his analysts, who have learned of the incident. Jax has the Cube occupants trapped in one room, then electrifies the walls of that room to electrocute them. Dodd relents and secretly sabotages the control panels servicing the Cube. This shuts down every trap and initiates a "reset mode", which gives the prisoners ten minutes to escape the Cube as its rooms return to their initial positions, before a sterilization procedure vaporizes everything inside. Jax discovers Dodd's betrayal and kills him, then he activates Haskell's sleeper agent through a chip implanted in him. Haskell becomes hostile towards his companions, who struggle to continue their escape and leave him behind. They reach an exit to find Haskell waiting for them: in the ensuing struggle, Wynn and Rains manage to jump into the auxiliary exit right as the sterilization procedure starts, vaporizing Haskell.
Wynn and Rains swim through water and emerge in a lake. They run through a forest similar to the one seen in Rains' dream, while being chased by soldiers. Wynn is hit by a tranquilizer dart and recaptured, allowing Rains to escape. He wakes up in a surgery room, where Jax informs him that he has been sentenced for high treason, and that many years earlier he had agreed to become a test subject, despite Wynn remembering neither the trial nor signing the consent. Wynn's brain is surgically altered, and he dreams about Rains reuniting with her daughter and praising him as a superhero. A now mentally handicapped Wynn is put back in the Cube and found by its new captives. He repeatedly mentions the color of the room and that he wants to go back to a different color, mirroring Kazan's initial appearance in the first film.
- Zachary Bennett as Eric Wynn, a junior Cube technician. A child prodigy and a genius, he is the newest recruit for the Cube.
- David Huband as Dodd, a senior Cube technician, who is at odds with Wynn for his constant questioning personality.
- Stephanie Moore as Cassandra Rains, a political demonstrator trapped in the Cube.
- Michael Riley as Jax, senior supervisor of the Cube, fitted with an artificial eye.
- Martin Roach as Robert P. Haskell, a man trapped in the Cube.
- Mike "Nug" Nahrgang as Meyerhold, a man trapped in the Cube.
- Terri Hawkes as Jellico, a woman trapped in the Cube.
- Richard McMillan as Bartok, a man trapped in the Cube.
- Tony Munch as Owen, a senior cube technician placed in the Cube.
- Jasmin Geljo as Ryjkin, a man trapped in the Cube.
- Joshua Peace as Finn.
- Diego Klattenhoff as Quigley.
- Alexia Filippeos as Anna.
- Sandy Ross as Chandler.
- Dino Bellisario as Smith.
- Ashley James as McCaw.
- Fernando Cursione as Male Doctor.
- Araxi Arslanian as Female Doctor.
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Reviews have been mostly positive, including positive notices from JoBlo.com, AMC's Movie Guide, DVD Talk, and Bloody Disgusting, with Bloody Disgusting saying that "Cube: Zero isn't the best of the series, but it comes close."
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