Cinematic Releases: The Pyramid

The Pyramid shifted from a limited run to a nationwide release today.

"What's in the box?"
"Nothing...YOU SO STUPID!!!"
Ever since The Descent, filmmakers have been trying to replicate the unique claustrophobic feel of that modern horror gem. Movie goers have been given numerous imitative takes on the same story with films like As Above, So Below and this week's middling effort The Pyramid. While The Pyramid doesn't deserve the massive critical lashing it's getting, it still doesn't get any points for creativity or for its more than obvious retread of a far greater film.

The Descent was a unique horror entry for its time. It relied heavily on the relationships between the characters and the tension created not only by the cavernous situation but by a strong bond between the spelunking women. In The Pyramid there is no strong interpersonal connection between any of these crazy ass people that decide to explore this unknown territory. Their back story is thin and is ultimately veiled by a poorly conceived, nearly identical script. The Pyramid feels rushed, underdeveloped, and far too similar to the aforementioned Neil Marshall film. And it so lacks the heart that could have made this a really scary movie. 

Like most horror flicks, audiences are treated to plenty of jump scares, a lot of shaky camera movements, a creature that's not fully shown until almost the end, and a couple actors that belong nowhere near this movie. Dennis O'Hare is the secondary lead behind a fairly talented Ashley Hinshaw. He plays his usual type cast egotistical, self serving character with a sweat and blood covered Hinshaw taking the reigns as the typical female protagonist. For the material they're given, they both drive their characters home. Unfortunately for them, there's just not enough to keep this tired rip off interesting enough to hold anyone's interest for a mere ninety minutes. 

"See this ancient script right here?
This is the one that says stop
stealing movie ideas or God
will punish you."
If you can accept this as a confined escapade through the maze like tunnels of a pyramid, there's enough here to keep you entertained. The two leads are strong enough to power through the bad writing and the technological aspects of the movie are fun to watch. However, the CGI and creature design leave a lot to be desired. Movies like The Pyramid should maximize by being minimalistic and by using lighting and sound design to keep the tension at full tilt. Instead, the director goes full bore by showing a silly looking main creature that looks like something out of a badly rendered video game. 

If you're looking for a few good scares and a way to waste a little time, you might enjoy this one. I didn't hate it and I didn't love it. It's just a mediocre horror movie in a year when fans were given great films like The Taking of Deborah Logan. It's just hard to compete with something like that. Go watch The Descent. It's way scarier.