“The Pyramid” is terrible, there isn’t much I can do to sugarcoat it. But an issue arose while watching “The Pyramid” and it’s atrociousness, I found myself having a good time, which is something that probably shouldn’t be happening with a film I’m calling terrible, but it is. “The Pyramid” in the end begins to resemble that of a fairground haunted house, while nothing in it is scary or memorable, for the time being, you can at least laugh and have fun with what you do have in front of you. Excavation horror films like this one can go in one of two directions, scare the absolute life out of you à la “The Descent”, or simply bore you to death like “The Cave”, but “The Pyramid” falls square in the middle on this scale, where I was never scared, I was never necessarily bored either.
The cast in this film, even the stronger performances, are bad, that feel as if they’re coming straight out of a SyFy original movie. Denis O’Hare of “American Horror Story” fame is the strongest of the cast, but unfortunately is bogged down by an annoying and simply unlikable character to start with. James Buckley from “The Inbetweeners” also offers a few instances of comic relief and rises above the rest of the cast, but never is fleshed out enough to make me particularly care about his character, even if I cared about his character the most out of any of them. Once we get through those two characters, the rest of the cast is as stiff as the stones used to assemble the pyramid in the movie, with clunky (to say the least) dialogue and no real character development, the characters are simply second best to the settings used in the film.
Notice how I haven’t explained a plot yet? Well, it’s because there really isn’t one. It’s a fairly typical run of overly curious Americans getting trapped inside a monument they were warned about and facing the consequences of death from creatures and starvation, this week’s setting is…you guessed it, a pyramid in Egypt. Which is one of the best parts of the film, it uses it’s setting quite nicely and tries to incorporate some Egyptian mythology into the “plot” and even incorporate it up to a point of silliness of what the characters are actually running from. One major problem I had with the film was the way it was shot, and it’s indecisiveness about what kind of horror film it wanted to be. Half of the film is shot conventionally, while the other half is shot “found footage” style, to convey the look of a documentary film. The issue is that with both being in use, the “found footage” aspect loses it’s effectiveness by constantly cutting between something that should feel real and something that is obviously a movie. Not only that, it’s simply a distracting measure used by a director who doesn’t really know what he wants. I will give it that the editing and sound design was done nicely, even if what was being edited wasn’t up to the par with what the editor was bringing, it was still nice to see. Sound design in a horror film is key, and despite the fact that it wasn’t scary, I still found it to be playful and clever, and especially powerful and bombastic near the end.
I wanted to hate “The Pyramid” more than I did, judging by my technical review of the film, it sounds like I’ve found a movie as bad as “Annabelle”, and while it certainly resembles it in the quality department, I found that “Annabelle” had the achievement of being bad and dull, while “The Pyramid” has it’s fun, themed haunted house elements about it that worked in a B-movie sense. Something tells me this could be a movie to be used in future drinking games at parties, and might break records on CinemaSins, but I couldn’t help but immerse myself in the trashiness and horrible CGI, and just let “The Pyramid” entertain me for 89 minutes, even if I was chuckling more than I was jumping. Despite my overall score, I can’t help but recommend “The Pyramid” as a terrible, yet fun B-movie, emphasis on B-movie.
And I’ll say it, and I hate saying this about movies, but “The Pyramid” is almost so bad, it’s good.
Directed by: Grégory Levasseur
Starring: Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O’Hare, James Buckley, with Christa Nicola and Amir K.
Runtime: 89 minutes
Rating: R for some horror violence and bloody images.
Twentieth Century Fox presents, a Fox International Productions/Silvatar Media-Mark Canton-Aja/Levasseur production, “The Pyramid”