I am a huge fan of the Cube series. Ever since the original's release I have craved more sequels/prequels which indulge my craving to watch people die via cruel traps. Although some may say that Hypercube was a horrid mark on the franchise, I loved the flick and was anticipating the series' prequel release Cube Zero.
Taking a slightly different approach than its predecessors, Cube Zero invites the viewer to witness what takes place outside the extraordinary cell, as well as watch the prisoners perish in some unique ways. Introduced to Wynn and Haskell, the two men monitoring the cube's inhabitants, the viewer is quick to learn that the prisoners (of the cube) were death row inmates that signed a release to take part in the experiment rather than die. Other than excercising its option to exterminate the inhabitants, the cube also functions as a lab for dream and emotional surveillance. While Wynn performs the surveillance procedure on an inmate named Cassandra Rains, he discovers that she was wrongfully placed in the cube and had not signed a release form.
Determined to bring this error to "the people upstairs" attention, Wynn does everything in his power to convince his partner Haskell that it's the right thing to do. However, Haskell fears for his life, knowing that defiance of the powers above will land them inside the cube, ultimately leading to their demise. Wynn presses on with his crusade, but rather than risk the life of his co-worker, he heads into the cube himself to aid the band of wayward prisoners. Expectedly, much bloodshed ensues as top brass take control of the cube to exterminate the rat named Wynn and the existing prisoners.
Although not as much fun as the original installment of the series, Cube Zero's unique take on the "behind the scenes" is the fresh injection that the series needed. Chock full of gross out death scenes and anticipation for the next traps to spring, this flick definitely kept me involved for the long run. It's quite humorous to see the parallels Cube Zero has to the American government throughout the film, especially when the deciding factor of whether one escapes hinges on their belief in God. Whereas Hypercube came on a bit too strong with its political agenda, Cube Zero is able to make light of the many government atrocities witnessed in today's political world.
Adding to the favor of this title is the amount of extras Lion's Gate put on the disc. Included is a Behind the Scenes/Making of featurette, Commentary by director Ernie Barbarash, Storyboards, Concept Art, a Music Video and some trailers for Lion's Gate Films. Overall, a fine collaboration to accompany a rather fun splatterfest.
Unfortunately, not a lot of hype came out of the Lion's Gate camp for this film and many will overlook Cube Zero as just another shady installment in the series. But I must encourage fans of the original to seek this flick out! Yes, Hypercube was a sad follow-up to the original, however, Cube Zero rights the ship with its wit, humor and of course, insane death traps.