Canadian sci-fi/horror movie, Cube, was a pretty successful hit amongst fans of the horror genre and is quintessential to the “escape room” subgenre that horror explored a ton during the 2000s. Cube was released in 1998 and got pretty decent ratings across the board, and established itself as somewhat of a cult classic.
Due to the first movie’s success, Cube later got a following sequel and prequel that didn’t do as well. Other than the seemingly inescapable torture rooms, it seems like fans of Cube also enjoy the sheer surrealness and the lack of hope for survival within the atmosphere of the film.
10 Saw (2004)
The original Saw from 2004 is probably one of the most similar movies there is to Cube. Of course, this franchise slowly gets more and more about ravenous bloodshed as the films go on, and less about the characters actually escaping, but the first film gives audiences that hopeless feeling the characters in Cube experience. As Adam and Lawrence try to figure out a way to escape from the shackles that bind them to the bathroom they are locked in, they have to uncover clues about their past and think of each available idea. As the movie progresses, both men feel like their attempts to escape are futile and that there truly is no way out.
9 Escape Room (2019)
Escape Room was a 2019 horror film with Deborah Ann Woll from Netflix’s Daredevil. This film follows a group of six random strangers, much like the five strangers in Cube, who each travel to a huge yet mysterious building at the offer of $10,000 to solve a set of puzzles. Everything sounds innocent at first, and each stranger has their own reason for being there, but once they find out that the luxurious office room they are waiting in is the first room of their do-or-die escape room, things begin to take a turn. Where Saw was more of a torture room the characters must escape from, this movie feels more like the same feel as that of Cube.
8 The Platform (2019)
This Netflix original Spanish thriller, The Platform, totally manages to capture the same hopelessness and surreal setting of Cube. This film is set in a futuristic prison, following the story of one man and his time within the confines of the walls. The prison is divided into different floors, each holding two prisoners with a giant hole in the middle. There is a platform that goes down from the top floor, all the way to the bottom each and every day with an abundance of food.
However, the food is never replenished throughout the different floors and it is revealed that there are over 200 floors. The food on the table is not enough for each, and after thirty days, the prisoners switch floors. Sometimes going higher and sometimes going lower. This movie is pretty intense and ends up making the viewers feel utterly hopeless for the characters as they were only meant to be in the prison for three months.
7 Snowpiercer (2013)
Snowpiercer actually has a pretty similar setup to The Platform. This film isn’t necessarily a horror film like Cube, but its surreal setting would make any fan of Cube pretty happy. This movie was written and directed by Bong Joon-ho (of Parasite) as it follows all that is left of humanity. After the Earth’s second Ice Age, the world’s survivors all boarded a train that is continuously traveling around the world. This train is broken up into different sections and is divided by the rich and the poor. A rebellion led by Chris Evans breaks out in the back of the train as they futilely attempt to make it to the front of the train and take over.
6 Battle Royale (2000)
Battle Royale is a Japanese horror movie, very similar to that of The Hunger Games, but way more intense and brutal. This film is incredibly influential and has become a cultural phenomenon and cult classic since its release. Each year, a random class from a random high school is chosen to be sent off to an island where the students must battle to the death with only one victor to remain at the end. Explosive collars are placed on the students, and any who do not cooperate will be instantly killed.
5 Cabin In The Woods (2011)
Cabin in the Woods is another cult classic, and though it doesn’t have any physical escape room, the whole cabin and scheme itself is super similar to that of Cube. A group of friends are manipulated to rent a cabin for a long weekend, where they plan to simply have fun. The film establishes each of the characters breaking through the horror movie tropes. The “jock” is actually a super nice and studious guy, the “virgin” is having a fling with her professor, and the “dumb blonde” just dyed her hair and was a pre-med student. This movie is way more than it seems and rightfully earned its title of being a cult classic, as the characters are trapped in their own nightmares and were chosen for something greater than just a weekend at a haunted cabin.
4 Coherence (2013)
This surreal psychological thriller follows eight friends at a dinner party who start experiencing bizarre events as a comet closely passes by. This film seemingly has it all, alternate realities, doppelgangers, and confusing puzzles the characters must figure out in order to escape.
Coherence is definitely strange and will probably confuse some viewers, but it’ll be totally worth the watch for any fan of Cube.
3 Circle (2015)
Not to be confused with The Circle, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, Circle is another horror/sci-fi thriller that follows fifty complete strangers waking up in a dark, empty room with each other. Each of the strangers is standing on a red space and as people around the circle begin dying, they discover that their hand movements are what chooses who dies like they are voting people out. This film is dark and definitely questions the morality of who “deserves” to live and die as the characters must keep voting people off until there is only one remaining survivor.
2 Exam (2009)
Exam is a 2009 British psychological thriller of eight candidates attending what they believe to be the final testing stage of an employment assessment exam. The eight candidates are locked in a room and given strict instructions to not speak a word to the exam proctor or the guard on duty and to only solve the one question they are asked. The only trick is, is that no question is actually written on the exam, leaving the candidates to go completely mad as they try to discover what the question is themselves.
1 Devil (2010)
This 2010 horror movie is rather similar to Cube and other psychological thrillers on this list but definitely falls more into the actual horror genre. Devil follows five strangers who embark on an elevator in a high-rise office building. The elevator gets stuck and strange events begin to unfold. At random intervals, the lights within the elevator will flicker, leaving the five strangers unable to see. But in these periods of black-outs, bizarre things will happen to the strangers, like some will get bitten, creating a rift between the small group as they begin to suspect each other for the strange happenings, all while the face of a devil keeps appearing in the elevator’s cameras.