The Pyramid (2014) could have been made in the 90s
The Pyramid (2014) contains everything crappy from late 90s movies and plenty of stupid stuff for me to laugh at. This Universal movie has a fairly decent concept and I’ll even admit that the first twenty minutes or so are good for a small budget movie like this one, but as soon as the characters enter the pyramid and face off against some ridiculous monsters, all bets are off. The middle and the ending are a farce, as the characters get lost and eventually devoured.
This is a horror movie, but it has an unusual documentary style. It uses the first person perspective like found-footage movies, but there are third person shots thrown in like a traditional movie, and many of these are from weird angles. I found all of these shots pretty stupid, because they sabotage what the movie tries to do. They should have just done everything first person like The Blair Witch Project, because that’s the only thing that might work with this concept, but the use of these extra, third person shots are a lazy shortcut so the director can show more of what is happening and scare us at different angles.
The concept of this movie is that archaeologists find a new, Egyptian pyramid buried under the sand in the desert, and it causes all kinds of debate amongst the small crew. I’m not sure why just these third string scientists are on this Dig of the Century, but they are. A robotics expert uses his NASA rover to explore some of the pyramid, but he loses connection with it, so the crew has to go inside. If this isn’t predictable enough, everything after that is pretty standard too. Rocks fall on people, rooms collapse, savage dogs dart out of nowhere, and plenty of other stupid stuff is thrown in to torment the characters.
The funny thing is, the beginning of this movie seemed to have some promise. Beyond the broken and stilted dialogue, the archaeologists find themselves caught in the desert while Egypt is reportedly in turmoil. There aren’t many political overtones besides a couple of lines of dialogue, and I thinka lot of the tension built up by their situation in a hostile country is never capitalized on. However, the situation does give them a reason to want to leave, so they hurry to investigate the pyramid. Bad idea, I guess.
This movie has a laundry list of crappy stuff from the 90s. There’s a rock score to close out the movie, plenty of hot chicks in tight outfits, and jump scares galore. Every character is given a chance to zing a one-liner and most of the characters are attacked, only to survive a little while so they can try for their Oscar by groaning in pain. Last but not least, there is a final girl, as in Scream.
There are no good characters in this movie. The actors are terrible. The whole thing just feels choppy and poorly edited. Ashley Hinshaw plays the final girl, Nora. Her acting is over-the-top terrible, and she wears a tight shirt for most of the movie, so she takes wardrobe cues from Lara Croft. Denis O’Hare plays Holden and he’s alright, but he’s just lumped into a bad movie with bad dialogue. Everyone else is just bad.
The worst part of this movie is the monster reveal, which is done in full. The director holds nothing back, as he has this Anubis monster chase around The Final Girl for a while. It’s too bad they didn’t capitalize on the Egyptian setup, because it could have been a different movie, or at least added something different. As it is, The Pyramid fails in almost every regard and has everything cliche I hate from 90s movies. It even fails to be a straight found-footage movie, and even movies released around the same time like As Above, So Below (2014) are better than this one. They should have buried this one with the pyramid.