April 29, 2015

VOD Review: The Pyramid (2014)

Late last year we reviewed a Found Footage flick called As Above, So Below (Review); another "Subterranean Horror" flick that featured a gang of Archaeologists heading down into a forbidden place, foolishly searching for history, and instead finding only death.

Most critics hated it, we didn't think it was all that bad.

Like As Above, The Pyramid features a bunch of archaeologists delving into the dark catacombs of a long lost world, essentially courting death while trying to discover some long lost part of history.

Of the two, The Pyramid is the lesser film.

I guess the best way to put it is that if you think this movie looks stupid, then skip it. If you think "Hey, that looks alright" then go for it.

Either way, you'd be right.

The Pyramid is about a bunch of archaeologists who find an entrance to an ancient pyramid, which they instantly decree as being "the find of the century," because when you're into old bones and ancient clay pots, just about anything will get you excited beyond belief.

When ordered to leave the site, they throw a hissy fit because "they are so close!" To what? Who the hell knows. Forget the fact that they're in a foreign land which is experiencing a massive social uprising, because as Americans, whatever they're doing is far more important than some civil unrest that is threatening to tear the country around them apart.

Of course they don't leave, instead opting to send their billion dollar droid into the pyramid, in an effort to discover something. Or multiple somethings. When the droid is somehow destroyed, they go in after it, because because with everyone else gone, why wouldn't they stay and explore an ancient series of catacombs that potentially hold untold dangers? Sounds like a smart move to me.

Spoiler Alert: Anubis and a bunch of frisky CGI cats are inside of the pyramid, and they really hate Americans, so you can pretty much guess how it's going to end for most of them.

To its credit, The Pyramid looks slick, and the dark atmosphere of its creepy setting is pretty effective. Also, once he shows up, Anubis makes for a pretty credible threat as well. The movie also boasts a fairly strong cast, lead by the always entertaining Denis O'Hare, and the mesmerizing beauty of Ashley Hinshaw.

This is not a good movie, per se, but it does enough things right to be a fairly enjoyable one (at least on the surface), if you can manage to shut your "thinkin' machine" off for a while, and just enjoy it for what it is. Really though, you somehow have to waylay the portion of your mind that processes logic in order to get something positive out of this movie. Add to that the frustrating trappings of the typical Found Footage effort (shaky cam, jump scares, and characters that play towards the camera, etc...), and a lot of people probably will not dig this one.

I really hate saying "It's alright, if you just turn your brain off..." about any movie, because you should really never have to think less to be able to enjoy something.

As an example of what makes this movie so frustrating: Once they're good and lost inside the pyramid, a soldier shows up out of nowhere to rescue them. When they become separated from him, they still wander around aimlessly trying to figure a way out, somehow forgetting that a random dude managed to get in and find them in pretty short order. How about you go back the way that the solider came? Unless I missed something, none of them said anything like "How did he get in here? Let's backtrack his trail and get out of here!" I mean, wouldn't there be at least some sort of trail with all of the dust and sand on the pyramid floor?

And why is it always these strong, driven, overly-aggressive female characters that end up costing everybody their lives in these kind of movies? "I know that it's really crazy to even think about going in there, but we have to. Trust me!" Of course later, after the idiots follow her inside instead of saying "Have fun, I'm staying here," and most of them have died painful deaths, we get the same chick saying "I'm so sorry."

I mean, I know they only sent a robot in there to begin with, but even that, under the duress of having to leave in such a hurry, is a stupid idea. It's like everything is a big adventure with no real consequences...  I guess that's how they have to get them inside of the pyramid so that there can be a movie to begin with, but it's so frustrating to watch.

Just once I'd like to see "that" female character be the voice of reason and common sense in one of these movies, instead of being the voice of blind optimism and careless ambition that gets everyone killed.

And when they find a piece of their little robot, which has clearly been torn apart by something, instead of leaving like anyone with a brain would do, they decide to delve deeper into the pyramid to search for the rest of it? Something in the pyramid destroyed the robot, and they want to explore further into its deep, dark, unknown passageways to find it? Come on.

What wonders another treatment or two of the script would have done for this movie.

Much like 2014's other "idiot people travel underground into ancient ruins to die" flick, As Above, So Below, The Pyramid isn't a truly awful experience, but it certainly is a trying one. At times, it's even a frustrating one, but it's got enough good stuff in it to keep if from being a total train-wreck. If you're an optimist at heart, that is.

Despite our issues with the movie, it's probably worthy of a rental for most Horror fans... but only if you've already seen As Above, So Below. That one is much better.


The Pyramid will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on May 5th, and it's on VOD now.

Oh, Ashley Hinshaw, you sassy, sassy little thing. Also, Christa Nicola.


  1. Hey thanks for getting around and doing this review. It always great reading something new by you guys and it is always enjoyable.

    1. I second that.

      Also: I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this piece of obvious junk. ;-)

  2. Oh my, this really was some cheesy piece of a lesson how you do NOT work on an archaeological place. I was dissappointed that they didn't die painfully enough. Yeah, I wanted to rip them appart myself. Slowly.

    I enjoyed "As Above, So Below" and am sad that critics didn't like it. Hopefully, the same people hate "The Pyramid" even more. They should.

  3. Isn't Anubis a dog though?