The Pyramid is an all-around bad movie. Yeah, there are a couple of scares but hardly enough to make up for the rest of the crap from the acting to the story. This was also an odd release originally limited and making a paltry amount in the process, it now curses its way onto Blu-ray, courtesy of Fox, with good audio/video transfers but really thin features.
Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural
Fox | R – 89 min. – $29.99 | May 5, 2015
THE MOVIE – 1.5/5
I’ve probably said this before, but I’ll say it again: I don’t like found footage movies. The style bugs me and it’s been overdone. The Pyramid is what one could call a hybrid utilizing some found footage with standard filmmaking style (probably about 50/50) since some angles couldn’t be done. So, I guess I didn’t hate half this movie, yet that half still makes for a dumb film with little actual scares.
The story opens in Egypt amongst the Arab Spring protests/riots but in Cairo, where it is calm, father/daughter archeologists Holden (DENIS O’HARE) and Nora (ASHLEY HINSHAW), tech geek Zahir (AMIR K) are accompanied by a documentary crew consisting of host Sunni (CHRISTA NICOLA) and her cameraman and our film’s wiseass Fitzie (JAMES BUCKLEY).
They are in Cairo as they’ve discovered a buried pyramid and a pathway already built toward an entrance inside. However, before they can learn from the find, due to the unrest in the country, as well as the death due to a poisonous gas when the entrance is opened, their funding is cut off and they are ordered to leave. But Nora is stubborn and convinces her father to send in a rover named Shorty, on loan from NASA, to go inside so they can get readings and record any hydrographic on the walls.
When something takes the rover, they must go inside themselves to recover it as it cost $3 million and NASA would be pissed. I think you can guess where this is going… five characters all prey for the monsters that dwell inside this pyramid. So, they go inside get turned around, a line to the outside to keep them from getting lost gets snapped and now they’re basically screwed. Through their wanderings, a floor collapses beneath their feet, a frickin’ boulder (first use of poor CGI) crushes one of the characters’ legs and later hysteria sets in for another.
Really, that’s The Pyramid in a nutshell. There’s lots of walking/running, some quick shots of some creatures, traps that would make the Hovitos from Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of proud.
Not much works in this movie, though there were a couple of decent scares, but hardly enough to overlook the truly crappy elements. The acting is at best adequate and worst downright laughable albeit Ashley Hinshaw comes out of it for the better (grading on a curve anyway). Unsurprisingly, it’s dimly lit, I supposed to cover for its limited budget, so not exactly a movie that’s pleasant to watch in the first place and the story itself is thin and ultimately dumb. The conclusion is paint-by-numbers and has been done in so many other horror movies and more to the point, found footage horror movies.
The Pyramid was directed by Gregory Levasseur marking his debut (he previously wrote the Maniac remake, The Hills Have Eyes and High Tension) and with the help of Alexandre Aja, a childhood friend, this did receive some financing but despite perhaps a decent enough idea, it never works on screen. Skip this at all cost.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.75/5
This release comes with a slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Extended Ending (1:06; HD) – As if the finale wasn’t stretched enough, we get some more footage and perhaps a setup for a sequel that hopefully will never happen.
Fear (0:58; HD) shows audiences being scared watching the movie with viewers giving the film praise.
Space Archaeology (2:11; HD) is about the new age of archeology using satellites
Egyptian Myth (2:14; HD) looks at the basis for the plot.
Partners (1:28; HD) – This is about the friendship between Gregory Levasseur and Alexandre Aja.
Gallery allows you to check out production stills.
Theatrical Trailer (2:19; HD)
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Despite being poorly lit, The Pyramid, presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio, doesn’t look half bad. Detail, it can be seen, looks good and those numerous dark shots are nice and stark throughout. I didn’t notice any apparent flaws like artifacts or pixilation making for a pleasant looking 1080p high-definition transfer.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track actually does a good job attempting to convey the thrills and chills of the film. The LFE channel does kick in a few times while the generic horror score gives the lossless track some decent depth. Dialogue levels are also crisp and clear and ambient noises make good use of the front and rear channels.
OVERALL – 2.0/5
Overall, The Pyramid is an all-around bad movie. Yeah, there are a couple of scares but hardly enough to make up for the rest of the crap from the acting to the story. This was also an odd release originally limited and making a paltry amount in the process, it now curses its way onto Blu-ray, courtesy of Fox, with good audio/video transfers but really thin features.
Brian Oliver aka The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.