Actors: James Buckley, Denis O'Hare, Philip Shelley
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Dubbed: French, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Run Time: 89 minutes
Unnecessary as another found footage horror film may be, this is far from the worst of what The Pyramid has to offer. As ridiculous as the plot involving aliens and an ancient Egyptian pyramid is, it comes nowhere close to being as absurd as the characters and the dialogue which the audience is forced to endure within the scenario. Even with some of the sloppiest CGI effects used to create it, the creature ends up being the best actor within this bunch, possibly because it never has to weather the atrocious dialogue written by Daniel Meersand & Nick Simon for the human characters.
The premise of The Pyramid is only possible due to the stupidity of horror-film-character’s logic, which is even more frustratingly asinine considering several of them are meant to be highly intelligent scientists. With the instantly irritating father-daughter relationship between the two scientists at the center of the exploration of a recently uncovered pyramid, audiences are immediately asked for suspension of disbelief. Sadly, the long-buried three-sided pyramid is not nearly as unbelievable as former Abercrombie & Fitch model Ashley Hinshaw playing a doctor. After an obligatory sequence with one of the male characters spying on her undressing, Hinshaw’s talents have already been stretched beyond their capabilities. Not since Denise Richard’s role as a nuclear physicist in The World is Not Enough has casting been less believable, and few horror movies have left me with such a longing to see the protagonist’s demise as relief from the bad acting.
Hinshaw plays Nora, a scientist known only by her first name, who is joined in the expedition by her archeologist father, Holden (Denis O’Hare). They are paired with a documentary film crew that includes producer Sunni (Christa Nicola) and her cameraman Fitzie (James Buckley, of “The Inbetweeners”), as well as a quickly expendable technician that is also unnecessarily dating Nora. Stupidity leads to more stupidity when this group decides to trek into the unexplored maze of the pyramid after watching their robotic camera destroyed by some type of creature. For some inexplicable reason (other than the aforementioned stupidity), they are surprised when these same creatures inevitably attack them as well.
90-minutes of this tripe quickly turns into an endurance test as this group of unintelligent explorers become trapped in the labyrinth of tunnels and secret rooms. The dialogue is rich with clichés and bad acting, punctuated with conversation-free moments of Hinshaw moaning and groaning out of exertion, fear, and anger, none of which is the slightest bit believable. I could nearly see the production assistants waiting off-camera to hand Hinshaw her artesian water bottle; the performance is that unconvincing. Even the addition of “The Inbetweeners” cast member goes wasted, as the film never allows comedic relief from the horror adventure. I’m almost certain that this film would have been just as effective had there been no dialogue at all, perhaps even more endurable without it. In one of the film’s worst sequences, Sunni ends an argument with the other trapped survivors by simply yelling at the person she disagrees with. I couldn’t help but wonder if this line of dialogue-free yelling was actually in the screenplay or if it was actress Nicola’s mistaken attempt at an improvised reaction. In the end, it doesn’t matter who is to blame. All that matters is that The Pyramid is damn-near unwatchable despite boasting horror director Alexandre Aja as the film’s producer.
The Blu-ray release of the film comes with a digital copy, for those who understand that this film might be better suited for watching on a cell phone. The special features have an extended ending, despite the fact that the theatrical one already feels far too long. Extras also include four unnecessary and shallow featurettes (“Fear,” “Space Archeology,” “Egyptian Myth,” and “Partners”), and a photo gallery.
Entertainment Value: 2.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 2/10
Historical Significance: 1/10
Special Features: 3.5/10
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