Review by Mark Schwab
I came across "The Cube Movie" while doing research about online film distribution. It seems there was a guy named Scott McMahon who made a feature film for only $500 with no crew and completely self-distributed it. Not only that, but the film actually made its money back as well as some profits.
Needless to say, I had to see this film for myself - if nothing else just to see what the current equipment available to pretty much any aspiring filmmaker would yield in actual results. Admittedly my expectations were a little low, but I found myself pleasantly suprised by McMahon's trippy little mystery.
He has a good hook with this film - a seemingly normal married couple suddenly find themselves in a psuedo twilight zone episode when a series of wrapped red wooden cubes start showing up on their doorstop. As the mystery deepens (they start finding items embedded in the middle of the cubes) their marriage begins to feel the strain and the paranoia builds.
When it focuses on the more paranormal elements, "The Cube" works beautifully with some fine sound design and an impending atmosphere of dread. However, when it focuses on the relationship between the couple, the pace slows down (although Robert Dahey injects some nice humor and comic timing to his role as Bob, the couple's good friend) and it starts to drift into Rom-Com land.
But these are nitpick items among an otherwise very impressive achievement. "The Cube" is always watchable throughout and it never looks and sounds "cheap" by any measurment. In fact, I'd even say the production values are impressive with the Portland, Oregon locations nicely utilized and the soundtrack having a very Nine Inch Nails vibe to it. It's certainly worth checking out on its Vimeo On Demand page and I'd also recommend browsing Scott McMahon's site at filmtrooper.com. Between his site and "The Cube Movie", you might just get inspired to go out and make a movie yourself. And that's a great thing.