Apr. 18th, 2012

innocent_man: (Default)
Cube is a little indie horror/sci-fi flick in which seven people wake up in an endless series of cubical rooms, some of which have deadly traps, and are given no further instruction. There are clues that allow them to navigate the cube, and they all have skills that enable them to contribute to the group's survival, but they all also have personality traits that hinder them. Holloway is a doctor, but she's also a paranoid conspiracy theorist. Leaven is an expert mathematician, but she's also young, scared and immature (and a little intolerant). Worth worked on the cube's outer shell, but he's a nihilist. Kazan is autistic savant and can do math calculations that are too advanced for Leaven, but he's a pretty low-functioning otherwise (which I'm aware is not a personality trait). Rennes is an escape artist, but he doesn't follow his own advice. And Quentin is a police officer...but he's completely fucking nuts.

Whee! The interesting thing about the movie is the No Exit quality that it has - the traps aren't really the dangerous thing. The dangerous thing is what happens when you put people in a stressful situation. Hell is other people, as it were.

It'd be tempting to call Cube a gamer flick, and I mused that you could use curse the darkness to run it, but I think Dread might actually be a better fit. For one thing, when people die in this movie no one thinks about them twice (which makes sense, given that everyone lives in their own little bubbles - seriously, mental isolation and division is a big theme in the movie, to the point that the characters are all named after prisons). For another curse the darkness doesn't do player-vs-player conflict all that well (maybe I should add something before the draft goes to layout? I dunno), and although it's not Dread's best point, you can do it.

But the other thing is: When you put PCs in an RPG in this kind of situation, they don't fragment this way. Not usually. And when someone does act like to total ass, like Worth and then Quentin do, we call out the player for fucking with group cohesion. Yes, you could work up a game that emulates Cube pretty well (this is something I've put some thought into, obviously), but I have no idea if such a game would be fun or not.

Right, back to the movie. It's hard to watch because you want to smack the people, especially at the end when Worth, Leaven and Kazan can see the exit and they linger, which of course gives Quentin time to rock up and stab them (not Kazan, who escapes). You think that maybe, in that completely artificial and improbable situation, you might keep your head and act more responsibly. And maybe that's true, but I, for one, think that most of the folks I know would get killed by traps before they figured out how to avoid them. I suspect I probably would. Hopefully not the acid one, because that looked like it sucked.

My grade: A-
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: D.O.A.

Points, yesterday and today. )

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