The Pyramid Blu-ray review
Cairo, 2013. “A team of American archaeologists discovered a new pyramid buried deep beneath the desert. Despite the chaos, a documentary film crew arrived in Egypt to film one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in Egyptian history.” Unfortunately, some will actually see the footage.
Through on-camera interviews with the documentarian shooting the footage (Christa Nicola, the TV series HOME AND AWAY), those studying the pyramid note its odd structure (three sides instead of four), observe that 600 feet of it is located underground and discover there is a tunnel that can let them in to explore and, you know, face certain death.
With the uprising occurring in Giza, the crew, which includes Dr. Miles Holden (Denis O’Hare, FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY) and his daughter, Dr. Nora Holden (Ashley Hinshaw, who appeared on HBO’s TRUE BLOOD), is instructed to leave the site—as if the toxic gas the pyramid emits wasn’t reason enough. Miles and Nora decide to stay, sending a robot in to investigate. When the robot is attacked (by something that is certainly not a dog), Miles and Nora decide to, of course, take a look themselves. It’s there that wires get cut, floors drop from under and large rocks fall. It’s like 13 Dead End Drive inside of a pyramid. (That’s not to mention the cat attacks, the creatures that dart across the screen and the inevitable maulings.)
THE PYRAMID is (one of the—it’s hard to keep track) latest found-footage horror movies that tries to use the gimmick to heighten the frights. But like so many before—and likely after—it, the frights are thin. So, too, are the characters, who tend to speak in expository summaries. The excuse for the filmmakers is that the archaeologists need to explain certain details to the reporter and her cameraman (James Buckley, British sitcom THE INBETWEENERS and its movies), but really it’s for the audience, who is talked down to the entire movie with instances of, “My job is to…” “Such and such just happened, in case you were in the other room.” and “Here is the importance of this scene as it relates to what just happened.” This is just plain poor writing, and some of it comes off like lines were adopted from a middle school history textbook and scribbled on index cards for the cast.
The entire movie is misguided. The characters are so dumb that the viewer starts to think that maybe Miles and Nora got their archaeology degrees merely by filling out a survey online. The backdrop of the story also has zero purpose, and plays as if to say, “Look! See? We care about important things, too…other than robot-eating pyramids!”
THE PYRAMID (which is directed by Grégory Levasseur, whose previous efforts include 2008’s MIRRORS and 2006’s THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake) could have had some effective scares through the claustrophobic sets and pitch dark tunnels, but instead is a thin, repetitive, recycled mess that was probably best left 600 feet underground.
Video: 2.35:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. The black levels are strong, which does a lot for the movie, a number of key sequences of which take place in the dark interiors of the pyramid.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1; French Dolby Digital 5.1. Subtitles in English and Spanish. The audio is strong, with clean dialogue and atmospheric effects.
Promotional Featurettes: There are four here: Fear (0:58), Space Archaeology (2:11), Egyptian Myth (2:14) and Partners (1:28).
Extended Ending (1:06)