I've just watched a sci-fi horror movie called Cube. It was pretty awesome, as well as it left a lot of questions unanswered. However, the one that frustrated me a lot was, the Cube's purpose. I mean, who and why did they construct the cube and put all those people into it?

Did they reveal it in the sequels? I haven't watched them.

  • Didn't one of the prisoners explain that he worked on this government project? – oers Sep 17 '12 at 16:05
  • Worth revealed that he's designed the outer shell, but I guess he hasn't said anything like he's worked on Govt project. – Vijin Paulraj Sep 17 '12 at 16:10
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    Let aside any sequels (which for me were a bit of a disappointment after the amazing first movie, especially the third), I think most of the fascination, mystery and hopelessness of their situation was due to the fact, that the cube had no actual purpose and just existed for the sake of its own (thus being the ultimate plot device and underlining the B movie character of the film). And I think in the movie someone said something along the lines of "they just built it because they can". – Napoleon Wilson Sep 17 '12 at 22:49
  • @VijinPaulraj i think you got three good answer to select one of them – Ankit Sharma Dec 14 '12 at 21:42
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    @ChristianRau, for me the deep horror was the suggestion not only that the cube had no purpose, but that no one was responsible for it. As if it was an idea that somehow grew and flowered by itself, like a parasite on the human military-industrial complex. We built it. However, I did not see the sequels. – Hew Wolff Jan 12 '13 at 0:41

Putting prequels and sequels aside, keep in mind that Cube is a metaphor for life, for the human condition:

  • In the beginning, each character wakes up in a strange, uncomfortable place.

  • Each quickly realizes that making a bad move will result in death

  • Each reacts to the situation in a unique way

  • Those who live longest never get any real insight into who/what put them there, or why

So while the characters (and us viewers) focus on trying to figure out the purpose of the cube, no answer is ever given -- just like in life.

An additional point is that the sole escapee is the mentally disabled man, who just accepted what was going on, and never asked "why" or "who" or "how" -- suggesting the movie's message might be "you're better off embracing the mystery than trying to solve it."

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    Well, with an appropriate interpretation you can probably see pretty much any situation on earth as a metaphor for life, because this situation is actually lived. But +1 for an interresting viewpoint, even if IMHO a bit too far-fetched. And answers turning plot-explanation questions into analysis questions are never a bad idea ;) – Napoleon Wilson Sep 18 '12 at 17:24
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    Christian, I thought your comment under the original question has a lot in common with my answer here. You say " the cube had no actual purpose"... and I say "exactly!" LOL :) – Shiz Z. Sep 18 '12 at 19:11
  • As for "any situation on earth as a metaphor for life," I disagree there. For example, Die Hard is not a metaphor for life, it's a cops-and-robbers story (and a darn good one). But to me, Cube seems focused on the mystery of existence. – Shiz Z. Sep 18 '12 at 19:19
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    Well, my comment was that it had no purpose at all, instead of being a metaphor for life. But indeed life also has no purpose and is only there for the sake of its own. So I start to see where you're getting at and especially your new edits to the last paragraphs are really insightful. In fact the answer develops to be better than I initially thought (or I didn't think enough about it on the first read ;)). – Napoleon Wilson Sep 18 '12 at 19:56

Cube made no extensive attempt to explain what the cube that the characters are confined in is, why it was created, or how the people were selected to be put inside there. The movie remains without any answers.

But Sequels have done that as stated by in the Wikipedia article

The second film reveals that a company named "IZON" is responsible for the development of the Cubes, and the third film indicates that their construction and operation has either been ordered or directly carried out by a non-descriptive "government". The films are alluded to be set in the future, however, one of the characters of Cube 2 mentions Muammar Gaddafi, who was alive at the time of filming.

Even in the third film Cube Zero which is prequel to CUBE and CUBE 2 it is mentioned that everyone in The Cube was facing a death sentence and was presented a choice: Go in the Cube with their memory completely erased or be sentenced to death. Only if a person signs the consent form will he or she then be placed in the cube.

However Eric discovers that there is no consent form in Cassandra's file (Cassandra is the main protagonist of Cube Zero and Eric is a watcher outside the cube). That meant that the consent is not always given for all prisoners.

In the end Jax shows Eric his consent form and says he had been put in the Cube not as a victim, but as an observer with his memory reprogrammed so he would have no memory about his past life.

In March 2011, Lionsgate announced it was considering an additional film in the series, tentatively titled Cube 3D (May be a sequel or Spinoff). This movie may explain about why people are kept in the cube without their consent and is there any other type of people in the cube except observer and victim.


You have to watch Cube and Cube Zero to get more of an idea of what's going on. Essentially, the Cube is owned by a rather powerful organization that uses it for "prisoners", or people that they want to get rid of. As we see in Cube Zero, when someone in the cube makes it out, they are then questioned about a few things. If they answer wrong they are destroyed.

So, we are left to assume that it's a trial of sorts, and once you make it out and face the final trial, you are free (in theory, we don't actually see this though).

  • Does they show it in Cube Zero as why did they put those people showed in Cube? – Vijin Paulraj Sep 17 '12 at 16:14
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    Cube Zero is actually a prequel and explains a lot. why people are in there is mostly not talked about except for one character in Cube Zero. – DForck42 Sep 17 '12 at 16:23
  • did you want to say: "You have to watch Cube 2 ...", did you miss the 2? – oers Sep 18 '12 at 6:36
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    @oers actually Cube 2 - Hypercube actually kind of muddles the whole story. It's actually a lot easier to just watch Cube and then Cube Zero. Then if you're really curious watch Hypercube. – DForck42 Sep 18 '12 at 14:11
  • just wanted to ask before ninja editing :D I watched them a long time ago and only remember that the sequel/prequel weren't as good as the original – oers Sep 18 '12 at 15:37

I thought that perhaps all the people had died and that the cube represented purgatory. All the "inmates" were having to face, and reflect on, their own selves. Rennes says at the beginning "you have to escape yourselves". At the end, only the pure manage to go to heaven (the mentally handicapped guy is amoral), and the rest are condemned to death/hell/nothingness whatever. No matter what your religion, or whether you are atheist or agnostic, conclusions about moving (or not moving) on to the next life can be drawn.

The film-makers perhaps then decided to move the film in another direction in order to pump out a couple of sequels/prequels, but I won't watch them because I think the film itself is a masterpiece (not the acting necessarily).

Or... perhaps someone just got stoned while playing with a Rubik's Cube and had an idea for a movie about a maze in the shape of a cube.

  • Welcome to movies.se. While the first paragraph of your answer provies some interresting insights, the following paragraphs are a bit questionable at least (well ok, in the end that is a possible theory, too). – Napoleon Wilson Jan 11 '13 at 23:47
  • What, is it your job to just go around being antagonistic? – Davie Devine Jan 12 '13 at 21:39
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    Well, I could ask if it was your job to go around and litter your otherwise good posts with ranty bits. But seriously, you probably will have to learn that on StackExchange neither comments nor downvotes are in any way to be taken personally. And in the end I didn't downvote any of your posts (because I'm usually not one that has problems with slightly ranty phrases and your posts are generally pretty good), but tried to constructively make you notice possible problems that others could have a problem with. So no, this is not my job, but for your benefit I'm doing it for free. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 12 '13 at 21:47
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    Ok, ranty was the wrong term for this answer. But the last sentence really sounds a bit too subjective. "you are not supposed to comment on the comments" - I didn't completely understand that, I admit. But you know what, neither are you supposed to disguise comments as answers (not saying that the whole answer does, like said the first part is very good). Sorry, but I cannot do much else than constructively suggest that you try to not take comments or downvotes too personally. In the end if you want to be left alone, a multi-user communicative website might not be the first choice then. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 12 '13 at 22:00
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    Look to me like @ChristianRau really was trying to be helpful. Critique is not the same as criticism. – luser droog Feb 6 '13 at 17:31

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