Review: The Pyramid
PLOT: When an archeologist team find themselves delving into a mysterious underground pyramid, they make a harrowing discovery. It seems some of the ancient beliefs written on the walls may be true, and they are about to witness them firsthand. Will they survive? Some secrets – and this movie - should stay buried.
REVIEW: There is another “found footage” offering looming in theatres this weekend, one that was not screened for critics. Once again, a camera crew goes down into a dark and creepy environment, only to find horror beyond their darkest nightmares. Unfortunately for the audience, the on-screen scares lead only to jarringly loud noises, atrocious dialogue and some really dumb characters. There is nothing original, inventive, or even interesting in THE PYRAMID. It follows the same path as every other film of its ilk, and it even betrays the entire found footage angle drifting away from first person narrative for much of the film. Why even bother? If you aren’t going to fully utilize this idea, there is very little reason for the morons to carry a camera around at all.
The story follows father-daughter archeologist team Nora and Holden (Ashley Hinshaw and “American Horror Story” regular Denis O’Hare). After the discovery of a three-sided pyramid underneath the Egyptian sands, their team working hard to uncover its mysteries. Along for the ride is reporter Sunni (Christa Nicola) and her cameraman Fitzie (“The Inbetweeners” James Buckley), a documentary film crew – shocking - who have been hired to film everything - even more shocking! After unrelated violence has spread throughout the country, the team is ordered to pack up and leave. So are they going to take off right away or will they enter the pyramid only to be terrorized by a mysterious and brutal creature? I bet you can figure that one out.
One of the many problems with THE PYRAMID is the characters. Neither Nora nor Holden feel like they should be related to each other, nor do they actually act like archeologists. When they finally enter the pyramid, they do a half-assed job at every single thing they are supposedly trained to do. Although they explain a bunch of stuff that you know will have something to do with the creature when it finally appears. Too bad it’s all rubbish. As for Sunni, the reporter hoping to get her ‘Emmy,’ she may very well be the most obnoxious character I’ve seen all year. And even though Fitzie keeps holding onto that camera, he was probably the most likable one of the bunch. At least he kept saying how bad of an idea everything was.
As far as the performances go, you can’t blame the actors too much. They do what they can with the many idiotic choices their characters make, as well as the abysmal dialogue they spout out. Unfortunately though, Ms. Nicola is painfully bad. While it would be difficult to rise above the material, she brings it down every time she is onscreen. The script by Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon is filled with a number of obvious horror troupes and it tries too hard to give a bland history lesson in the process. As far as the shocks and scares go, your average horror fan will see the hits coming well before the people on-screen do.
In his directorial debut, Grégory Levasseur (Alexandre Aja’s writing partner) has created a very generic found-footage flick with very little substance. It may not necessarily be the worst horror film this year – the creature isn’t all that bad - but as a whole it is painfully dull. Once they do get inside the pyramid, there is very little suspense with only a couple of jump scares. As well, it is a very poorly lit film that seems intent on rehashing scenes that have worked much better in other films. THE PYRAMID is dumb and dull, another big-screen release that fails to generate any sort of fright. As one member of the audience said, even before the final “shock” ending, “ I want my money back!” and you will too.