HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Pyramid
HTS Overall Score:65
“The Pyramid” made me laugh, it made me cry and by the end I was thankfully able to turn it off. I have a weakness for horror movies, even bad one, as they are a staple of said genre, but not all bad horror movies can be salvaged, especially found footage movies. Found footage films became really popular with the famous “Blair Witch Project”, and soon ballooned out into a genre all its own. We see them in other genres as well, mainly using handheld or other shaky point of view cameras that are meant to be disorienting and scare by seeing just brief glimpses of something before the person carrying the camera is either dismembered or runs off in terror with little brief tidbits of a monster is seen. “The Pyramid” basically takes the cookie cutter found footage film and just stuffs it into an ancient pyramid.
A team of archeologists are digging up a newly found pyramid outside of Cairo, Egypt. Hidden underground for thousands upon thousands of years it is only three sided, instead of four like the normal pyramids, and it seems to pre-date the other surrounding pyramids by many thousands of years. A pair of documentary film makers (of course) come along to film the historic event and record it for posterity. At that time the public and the military in Cairo are at each other’s throats and the resulting violence and bloodshed is forcing the outsiders to be forcibly expelled from the dig site. Refusing to let their life’s work go to waste, the archeologists send in a three million dollar rover from NASA to get some recorded images to take away. Of course the machine goes offline, thus forcing the archeologists and the documentary film crew to go inside after it, naturally.
Once inside the pyramid it becomes obvious that this pyramid is different than the rest. Things are in different places than normal and the hieroglyphics are strange. Veering off course, the 5 people soon run into trouble as the floor collapses underneath them and injures one of the crew. From here on out it’s pretty much your standard horror movie in tight places. People try to escape the tomb, and one by one they run into some sort of trap or what not that kills them. We have the obligatory tight places to crawl through, jump scares out the ying yang and booby traps that are placed there by ancient Egyptians.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=44881[/img]What makes this one ever so slightly unique is that it doesn’t just blend closed spaces horror with found footage, but it turns it into a supernatural/creature feature flick too. The monster that destroyed their rover soon starts hunting them, and becomes a mythical villain from ancient Egypt to pit against the main heroine (of course the pretty blonde). It’s not enough to save the film by any means, but it is kind of a cool little twist to the story. As you can guess by my description, “The Pyramid” is by the numbers horror with little to no imagination. The jump scares are incredibly weak, and even the creature is kind of boring and VERY poorly CGI’d. I haven’t been this insulted by a plotline in a long time. The real villain is beyond ridiculous and the ending is telegraphed from a virtual mile away. If you’ve seen one horror movie with a weakened character crawling away, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that something horrible is about to happen. It felt that any form of logic and inventiveness was squashed by the creators as a mandatory action every weekend. Scour the script and look for any logical points and just squash them with rehashed tropes that didn’t work 20 years ago, let alone today with an audience who has seen it all. My head honestly hurts at this point.
Rated R for horror violence and some bloody images
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=44889[/img]Shot digitally, the 2.35:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray disc looks quite impressive considering much of it is spent in absolute darkness. Using a mix of standard filming and hand held or helmet held cameras, the beginning portion of the movie looks superb, as its out in the sunlight and the digital cameras can give a nice glossy image. Colors are nice and natural, with good contrast levels and nice detail. Once we’re inside the pyramid though, the film is pretty much bathed in absolute darkness for the rest of the movie. This introduces a few artifacts such as digital noise. It’s not nearly as bad as older digital cameras would do in that situation, so the noise is minimal. This one will certainly test the black levels on your display and if your TV can resolve the blacks well you should have plenty of detail to replicate. I could see everything happening on my LCOS display with ease, and even though there isn’t a lot of color and light in these scenes, there is still plenty of detail. There is some black crush, but not a whole lot and given that the movie is shot in pitch black, it’s quite an impressive image.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=44897[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track is quite impressive as well. The movie was obviously shot on a shoestring budget, but the sound design gives plenty of room for a satisfactory horror experience. Dialog is spoken in hushed whispers a lot of the time, but they are always legible and articulate, while the rest of the track makes use of the surround channels and the mains to immerse the listeners in the ambient noises of the tomb they’ve got themselves trapped in. LFE is solid with plenty of impact when a floor gives way, or the roar of the monster coming to get them. It’s a solid track, but isn’t given the budget to make a truly top notch track come to life.
• Extended Ending
• Promotional Featurettes
• Theatrical Trailer
“The Pyramid” is just plain bad horror. There’s nothing quality about the project as it reeks of low budget horror that was cobbled together from a Frankenstein’s hodge podge of re-used horror clichés and illogically used shaky cam. I can’t think of a horror movie in recent history that frustrated me this much. None of the scares were scary and the actors themselves looked like they slept through the script and did it all in a single weekend. The video and audio presentations are about the only good thing I can say about the disc. Just Skip It.
Starring: Ashley Hinshaw, James Buckley, Denis O'Hare
Directed by: Grégory Levasseur
Written by: Daniel Meersand, Nick Simon
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Runtime: 89 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: May 5th 2015
Buy The Pyramid On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
More about Mike