The Pyramid

Posted: December 11, 2014 in Film reviews
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Directed by Grégory Levasseur. Starring Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O’Hare and James Buckley.

A small group of American archaeologists uncover the tip of a hitherto unknown pyramid in the Egyptian desert. The pyramid is unique because it is three sided rather than four, but before the archaeologists can begin to explore the worsening political situation in Cairo prompts their backers to demand that they leave.

Before they do they take the opportunity to send a small robot inside the pyramid to investigate. When it is attacked by, they presume, wild dogs, archaeologist father and daughter team Miles and Nora Holden (O’Hare and Hinshaw) venture inside to retrieve it, accompanied by Michael, the robot’s operator, documentary film maker Sunni and her cameraman Fitzie.

Once inside they quickly become lost within the labyrinthine interior, and all too soon they realise that it wasn’t wild dogs that destroyed the robot, and that the same force is now stalking them…

 

Sometimes I wonder how certain films get a cinematic release. Suffice to say that the Pyramid really should have been a straight to DVD affair. Suspension of disbelief is a prerequisite for any film that deals with the fantastical, be it science fiction, fantasy or horror, but whilst the existence of monsters is something I can always buy into for ninety minutes, stupid characters is something I always find jarring and, in the best (or worst traditions) of bad horror flicks down the ages The Pyramid features stupid characters doing stupid things…but on the plus side they at least get punished for this.

To give you a flavour of this stupidity…when the tomb is first opened an outrush of toxic aid causes one of their diggers to start foaming at the mouth, in fact he looks like he’s turning into a zombie. Sadly he’s not, it might have been a better film if he had been. Despite this, and despite the fact that the robot is clearly attacked by something, they still venture inside. They do wear masks, but these are soon removed (toxic air, what toxic air?). Best of all they leave no one outside, aside from an angry Egyptian soldier, and their only means of finding their way back out again comes down to a single wire trailing along behind them. I’ll leave it to your imagination what happens to that wire.

What follows is a fairly by the numbers horror story as they’re picked off one by one. The characters are wafer thin and every one of them is a standard trope. Father and daughter bicker, he’s an old school archaeologist whilst she believes in using modern technology. Michael is a geek who uses his robot to spy on Nora in her pants (because what kind of a lousy horror film would this be without a woman in her undies eh?) Sunni is the driven journalist who’s happy to put herself in harm’s way if it means getting the story, and Fitzie is the whiny, wise cracking joker in the pack, channelling every last ounce of Bill Paxton’s Hudson from Aliens.

Actually Fitzie is at once the best and worst thing about this film, The In-betweeners’ Buckley gets most of the funny lines and he spits them out with aplomb. The flipside of this is that he’s almost too knowing whilst everyone else is pretty bland, which means his presence comes off as jarring at times. O’Hare is a decent actor who does the best he can with the role. Nobody else really stands out in roles you imagine a hundred other actors or actresses could play.

The dialogue is at times risible; “Stop being an archaeologist for one minute and act like a human being!” “I’ve been climbing my whole life.” “From a shitty room to a kitty tomb.” Actually that last one did at least make me laugh.

The cgi monsters are effective enough, although the big bad looks like he might have got a part in Doctor Who or Merlin, he’s most effective during the night vision scenes.

The script is predictable, and if you sat down at the start and listed what order the characters would die in I bet most people would end up with a sequence pretty close to the eventual outcome. Every Egyptian tomb clichés is thrown in, from pitsof spikes to rooms that fill up with sand. The direction is uninspiring, and downright inconsistent at times. At the start it seems to want to be a found footage film, but gives up on this fairly quickly.

Some films are bad, some films are so bad they’re good. The Pyramid hits the former but sadly falls a few cubits short of the latter. You’d be better off watching a double bill of The Mummy and The Descent, because clearly this film is trying (and failing miserably) to channel both.

 

 

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Comments
  1. Mim says:

    You know, your review actually makes me want to watch it! I love a good bad film…

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