The Pyramid [2014]

This review will contain spoilers, it will also contain the trailer which on review subscribes to that modern ideaology where films deserve to be spoiled.

 

Right, basic plotline.

We follow a father/daughter team of archeologists and an attached camera crew, who are uncovering a 3-sided pyramid, however when they are about to breach the pyramid civil unrest breaks out our crew are told to leave, of course they can’t just leave this discovery sitting, so they rush into the pyramid ignoring a few safety procedures.

When they get into the pyramid, things start going wrong, people start dying, feral cats start feral catting and we end up with Anubis going around ripping hearts out of people looking for a pure soul.

Oh and there is some hand-waved “fungus” attacking people, I guess it was an attempt to explain away the “curse” as shown in the trailer, but honestly it doesn’t go anywhere and just feels tacked on.

I could go into a shot by shot, but honestly, this isn’t so worth it.

 

Lets take a moment over the technical, the filming is actually pretty well done.

Filming is handled in both first-person POV and third person, as much as I am the first one to cry out over POV filming when it feels lazy, but it was reasonably well done here, rather than just using the camera to mask limitations in plot or set, it feels strangely additive here.

Sets seemed relatively well done, with sandstone doors and blocks that feel as if they have weight, the CGI was a bit lacklustre but admittedly when you’re rendering flesh, it can be tricky.

 

Next, acting, for the most part it is all decent enough, there are no stellar performances but they’re not bad by any means, they’re just passable.

There is one odd choice for casting, James Buckley (Jay, from the Inbetweeners) who through no fault of his own, doesn’t excel in a more serious roles, again it isn’t Buckley’s fault but with Jay being his most memorable role it can be hard to shake off.

 

Plotline! (And not plotling as I originally wrote), the plot for The Pyramid isn’t much, basic horror fare with a vaguely Egyptian flavouring, there is one or two points of contention here.

As the film progresses, after our noble heroes adventure through locked doors “designed to keep something in” it struck me that we’ve already had Anubis rip a guy to pieces, but not only that there’s a direct route between entrance of the Pyramid and the burial chamber, which makes it kind of hard to believe that Anubis was trapped in there at all, which makes less sense when we discover that the Masons have made it into the Pyramid.

Lets focus on that passageway for a second, the Pyramid is a trap to keep Anubis from killing thousands, makes sense, and then the burial chamber has an easily accessible tunnel that leads almost to the entrance, so is this a prison or not? Anubis is looking for a pure soul so he can ascend to the afterlife, but if we’re dealing with religion made real, or even if it were just metaphor, why would we need an actual tunnel that leads to the entrance and if that is less about ascent and more about escape, why is Anubis waiting around when he could just leave?

The entire thing just seems a little forced, I would have ditched that esape tunnel, removed the Mason and not had the soldier turn up.

Or, and in this case, it’s a reasonably big or, so I will capitalise it, OR I would have removed just the escape tunnel and used the entire POV angle to show hinted doorways and tunnel that could have led to the exit, maybe even had an actual path just out of reach, rather than having the “Lone Survivor” collapsed on the edge of escape gasping for help which just seems too.. formulaic.

 

Final thoughts, this isn’t some genre breaking piece, the plot won’t surprise you in any big ways but it is enjoyable for what it is. if you want an easy to digest horror film, go for it.

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