Horror movies (or I should say GOOD horror movies) have pretty been scarce this year. When advertisements for “The Pyramid” started showing up, I didn’t really have a clue what kind of horror film I was in for; especially since this film was harder to find since my local theater didn’t seem to carry it. So after a year of disappointing horror flops, slim to zero advertisements and some additional hunting; was this film really worth it? In a way…yeah it was; that doesn’t mean it’s truly one of the great films of 2014 but it’s still worthy of a mention and I’ll explain why. The story is about an archeological dig into a new pyramid that has just been uncovered; miles and miles beneath the sands of Cairo. The dig is led by the father/daughter exploring duo Holden and Nora (Denise O’Hare and Ashley Hinshaw), both are eager to explore the pyramid but are told shortly after by the world government that they must leave the site within 24 hours.
Nora, her father and a small TV crew venture into the pyramid in hopes of finding some discovery before they are forced out; but they become lost and trapped in the pyramid after triggering a trap. Now the group must struggle to survive against toxic air, deadly traps and a mysterious creature hunting them down. Not seeing any promos for a movie can sometimes be a good thing as nothing is given away by a trailer that’s too revealing. The only indication of what’s going on in this film is suggested by the poster. I am not going to spoil anything for anyone but I can say with the utmost certainty that whatever you think is going on in this movie is NOT what’s going on.
This movie doesn’t break any new barriers or grounds but it definitely has more creativity and surprises up its sleeve than I think most people would give it credit for. “The Pyramid” doesn’t restrict itself to one murderous monster or entity doing all the dirty work, there are numerous things that pop up and prove to be lethal surprises for both the audiences and the characters. The “thing” itself is by far the movie’s most imaginative element. I’ve seen plenty of horror movies (few with Egyptian settings admittedly), but I can’t recall the last time this kind of creature/killer was used in a film. Even if 90% of the cast is expendably uninteresting, the fact surprises can pop up in any form or shape keeps things fresh and entertaining; it’s something different.
Our leading pair, Hinshaw and O’Hare; are easily the best people here in terms of quality. Though to be fair, the rest of the cast’s talent isn’t bad per say; it’s just they are given very paper thin personalities to work with so it’s more of a criticism towards the script than the cast’s talent. Thankfully this film was NOT “found footage”; though it certainly had elements of it and could have easily been turned into one if the director wanted to. Despite all of the creativity woven into the horrors hidden under the pyramid, you do have to choke down a few chunks of character stupidity before the gory good stuff starts happening.
The problem is Nora and her crew is supposed to be well studied explorers with high tech equipment and well trained crew, yet they stupidly go wondering into an uncharted pyramid just because an expensive piece of equipment gets damaged (by clearly NON-dog looking animal). It’s usual horror movie flaws that can’t be avoided but it just seems to stick out more so than usual because were supposed to believe these people are smarter than a bunch of pot smoking teenagers. Overall, “The Pyramid” has a nice set of interesting ideas and surprises that unfortunately were wrapped in the same cliché wrapping paper. Cast was decent, gore and scares were better and though this film turned out to be a rather average quality film; it’s still one I’m glad I explored.