The Pyramid Movie Review
Written by Simret Cheema-Innis aka Wickergirl
Released by 20th Century Fox
Directed by Grégory Levasseur
Written by Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon
2014, 89 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
Released on 5th December 2014
Ashley Hinshaw as Nora
Denis O'Hare as Holden
James Buckley as Fitzie
Christa Nicola as Sunni
Amir K as Zahir
The Pyramid is the directorial debut of Grégory Levasseur, the screenwriter and producer behind movies such as High Tension (Switchblade Romance) and Mirrors.
And a novice he's not, with his existing track record and working relationship with fellow co-writer and 'Splat Pack' French-extreme director Alexandra Aja. It just goes to show how an effective story with minimum space, a low budget and a decent script helms a watchable horror flick.
Archeologists discover an ancient pyramid and decide to investigate further. A father-daughter team, Nora (Ashley Hinshaw) and Holden (Denis O'Hare), heads the investigation,. They're accompanied by eager journalist Sunni (Christa Nicola) and her cameraman Fitzie (James Buckley) who are keen on getting a groundbreaking story.
As they venture into the depths of the catacombs they come across hieroglyphs which suggest the pyramid had connections with the underworld. But they're not alone. And soon the only way out is going deeper into pyramid, on a journey where the original gatekeeper presents life and eternal death. Enter Anubis.
Although desperately unoriginal, fans of films such as Stargate, Raiders of the lost Ark and The Descent will do well to seek comfort in this pizza and popcorn movie. It's well made and watchable, there's Egyptian mythology which hasn't been explored enough in the horror-movie genre. Like the story of Ra in Stargate, The Pyramid has terrifying moments which are heightened through the found-footage elements and although the film isn't technically a found-footage movie, it relies on a hand-held camera point of view to provide a myriad of jumps and scares.
Through the wild goose chases around dark, winding passages and various traps there isn't much scope for connecting with the characters. The viewer is thrust into so many action sequences and death after death that it appears the characters have forgotten their loved ones have met their demise. The audience becomes desensitised, the characters' tears and pain seem meaningless and unbelievable. There isn't enough time to develop a bond as there's so much action and running around.
There's humour, mostly portrayed by character Fitzie who seems like he's just stepped off the set of The Inbetweeners, whether this was intended or not is another question.
The Pyramid does well to create a horror story out of Egyptian mythology. The legend of Anubis and the Scales of Truth are histories which are terrifying in their own right and are satisfying to see on screen.
Be sure to read the interview with director Grégory Levasseur to find out more about the making of this film.