Last week, after coming home from UNFRIENDED, I was going through new horror releases on Amazon Instant Video and found THE PYRAMID. Had I known then what I know now…
I didn’t know a whole lot about the film. Back when it was released theatrically I think I saw a teaser trailer or something for it, although I couldn’t tell you much about it other than that it looked like a found footage film that took place in…a pyramid (duh, Shad). I do know that I was looking forward to it because I’m a big fan of any horror movie that involves pyramids or ancient Egypt, probably for the mystery they hold. Until you watch the movie and they usually end up being not that great. Regardless, I still like watching them because you never know, there could be a diamond in the rough.
So the weekend came (I don’t remember when, now) that it opened theatrically and surprisingly it was missing from all of the 24 screens where I live. Which surprised me because it was produced by Alexandre Aja, which in horror circles is a fairly big name (he did the THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake, HIGH TENSION, MIRRORS), but alas, it was not playing where I lived. My sister on the other hand, in Wisconsin, got to go see it theatrically and later, when she told me this, she said it wasn’t good.
Unfortunately for me, I don’t take bad opinions into my decision making, especially with horror films. I always just assume that the bad opinion is from someone that doesn’t have the hard-boiled love for the genre that I do. So when I saw it available for rent on Amazon Instant Video, it was a no brainer. I electronically paid my four dollars and started it up.
The film starts promisingly from the moment you see the patriarch of the father-daughter archeologist team being played by Denis O’Hare (AMERICAN HORROR STORY, TRUE BLOOD). The father likes the old method of archeological discovery, while his daughter embraces the new methods, like using satellites and drone robots. The found footage angle comes from a TV crew (reporter and cameraman) that are there to do a story on them.
So they just uncovered, buried in the dirt and sand, a new pyramid, and the kicker is it only has three sides instead of the normal four sides. So already I was hooked. Different type of pyramid? Buried in the ground and so supposedly centuries older than the other pyramids on record? WHAT COULD HAVE DONE THIS? Like I said, I was already excited for what was to come. But as the events of the film unfolded, I wished I could get the four bucks, and the 90 minutes of my life, back.
As soon as they enter the pyramid, things go frame lame to ungodly boring. “Oh look, another room where very little is going to happen” is what they may as well have been saying the whole time in the pyramid. And the first evil things that they find that are hardened killers? Hairless cats, I shit you not. Mr. Bigglesworth’s family got trapped in a pyramid and are apparently pissed. They eventually find the big bad and everything happens according to an Egyptian myth that is apparently not a myth at all. I honestly stopped paying attention around that revelation. Everyone minus the girl archeologist dies, and she attempts to escape with her heart intact in her body. Does she make it? Honestly, who cares, this movie’s terrible.
Probably the worst thing about it is that it’ sold to us as a found footage film, but it’s actually a combination of found footage and actual cinematic shots. Which is really confusing as the first time a cinematic shot happened (which was inside the pyramid) I was wondering who was holding that camera, because the other cameras were already spoken for. When I realized that they were mixing cinematic style with found footage, I threw my hands in the air and said “Screw it”, and was pretty much done with the film at that point because it doesn’t make it interesting, it makes it idiotic, and that was about thirty-five minutes in.
Wanna watch a cool movie about Egyptian pyramid intrigue? Watch the original THE MUMMY, or the Brendan Fraser remake of THE MUMMY. Those films…actually cool. INDIANA JONES RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK…awesome choice. However, if you come across this film, skip it, it’s just terrible without any real redeeming quality to it. You’d be better off watching paint dry.