The Pyramid follows a father/daughter archeologist team, Nora (Ashley Hinshaw, Chronicle, +1) and Professor Holden, (Denis O’Hare, "American Horror Story", "True Blood") who have astoundingly uncovered a three sided pyramid (other pyramids have 4 sides) in war torn Giza. Convinced that this pyramid is related to the reign of Akhenaten (the pharaoh that is often associated with alien conspiracies) the team is anxious to investigate the inside. As the discourse throughout Giza intensifies and threatens their dig – they decide to send in a NASA borrowed rover to record the inside. Of course the rover is attacked by some mysterious looking animal – and they must go in to retrieve it or face the wrath of the American government. Followed by a documentary crew, Nora, Holden, Nora’s boyfriend who happens to be the rover’s operator, descend into the pyramid. Once they are inside, the pyramid becomes an inescapable death trap that pushes them further into its depths. Oh and there's also some toxic air that attacks the body like leprosy and basically turns people into zombies.
The Pyramid’s premise holds a lot of promise. A horror movie about pyramids or mummies hasn’t been made in the last 50 years – so the idea is rather crisp and welcoming. Going into the film without any knowledge of the reviews, there is a lot of room for the atmosphere and the unknown to play a role, similar to Neil Marshall’s The Descent. Moreover, the emphasis on the religious practices of the ancient Egyptians and their gods is an awesome idea that has not been done in a horror movie. Subjectively, using the intricate and intense Egyptian gods as actual monsters is pretty rad.
Despite the props for attempting to do something new and reintroduce “monsters” into horror movies – the film lacks everywhere else. Denis O’Hare is his usual creepy self, so it’s uncertain if he is even acting at this point. The relationship between Holden and his daughter is unrealistic and the conversations seem overly rehearsed. The supporting roles of the doc crew are just annoying and ridiculous – there are several times when it is hoped that they are killed off gruesomely and without mercy. A lot of the missteps could probably be attributed to film writers Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon, who have very few writing credits to their names. Also this film is a combination of the found/doctored footage - which is a complete bore. The found footage aspect is overdone and does nothing to increase the films weight at all. The special effects of the beings inside the pyramid rely heavily on CGI but are decently done. However, after the initial view of the “monster” which is done with an obscured night vision filter, it comes across a bit cheesy. Even visually the movie is a bit dull – going for the gloomy and foreboding feel of the crypt, Gregory Levasseur takes the leap from screenwriting Maniac and Art Directing High Tension/the Hills Have Eyes to his first full credit as director and gets tangled a bit in the darkness.
As great as it is be to support movies trying to do something new instead of rehashing old ideas – it’s probably better to wait on VOD for this one. It’s got a few good scenes that are worth the trudge and now you can die knowing what CGI mummy cats would look like if they lived for thousands of years in a tomb while eating each other.