April 1, 2015 The Pyramid (Movie Review)
The mummy was once a favorite creature in horror movies, but over the years its popularity has diminished. However, 20th Century Fox’s December 2014 Horror release, The Pyramid, has brought mummies back. Written by Daniel Meersand (The 7th Claus, 2008; Removal, 2010) and Nick Simon (Cold Comes the Night, 2013; The Girl in the Photographs, 2015), and directed by Gregory Levasseur (The Hills have Eyes, 2006; Mirrors, 2008), The Pyramid takes place in modern day. The plot focuses on father and daughter archaeologists, Doctor Miles Holden (Denis O’Hare: American Horror Story 2014-2015; The Good Wife 2011-2015) and Doctor Nora Holden (Ashley Henshaw: True Blood, 2014; Workaholics, 2015), who have made an astounding archaeological discovery that is set to change the course of Egypt’s history. They utilize satellite technology and NASA robotics to find a unique three-sided pyramid. This catches the interest of a television station, which sends TV host Sunni (Christa Nicola: Home and Away, 2000; Lollipop Man, 2009) and cameraman Fitzie (James Buckley: The Inbertweeners Movie, 2011; The Inbetweeners 2, 2014) to follow the pair as they study this discovery.
Unfortunately, Cairo is under civil unrest, which makes navigating the area difficult, but this does not stop Sunni and Fitz from making it to the dig site. Excitement surrounds the area. Nora and Miles have found a pyramid that is completely different than all the others, and they cannot wait to uncover it. Nora believes it could be linked to a much older civilization than they first thought, while Miles wants to see the tomb before he reaches any conclusions. The workmen work tirelessly to uncover the pyramid until enough is exposed that they can open the stone door. As they pull the door open, toxic gas is released, and the first workman dies, setting off a strange course of events.
As they explain the archaeological processes to Sunni and Fitz, Miles and Nora receive a call from the University advising them that marshal law has been declared, and they must all leave the country within twenty-four hours. This sends Miles and Nora into a panic, as they cannot be sure how long it will be until they come back. Nora talks Miles into staying for a little while longer, and they decide that to circumvent the toxic gas, they will send a robot named Shorty, manned by Michael Zahir (Amir K: Jessie, 2013; Far Cry 4, 2014), to check it out. Shorty goes into the pyramid and starts taking footage of hieroglyphs and structures before the camera flicks off. Since Michael has borrowed the robot from NASA, if it gets destroyed, he has to pay for it, which motivates him to retrieve Shorty. Miles and Nora insist he not go alone, and Sunni and Fitz come along too. As they prepare to leave, a soldier, Corporal Shadid (Faycal Attougui: The Bible, 2013; Son of God, 2014) informs them they must get ready to leave immediately, but they manage to evade him and head to the tomb, gas masks in place.
Almost immediately upon entering the tomb, Miles and Nora find writings that indicate the tomb is very rare. It is also linked to the underworld and full of nasty surprises. The group is shocked to find that Shorty has been destroyed. Michael sees that he has no hope of being able to pay for the robot or replace it, and he panics, but that turns out to be the least of his problems. To make matters worse, the entrance and several other areas are now blocked. Miles and the others go searching for an alternative way out, and it is soon apparent that they are trapped with something malevolent. They begin to panic, but Miles and Nora are determined to keep their wits about them in order to learn what they can before they find a way out. They hear strange noises, and flashes of terrifying cat-like creatures start appearing, and the group finds it hard to hold onto their sanity as they face the fact that they are trapped and in danger of being killed by booby traps or weird undead entities. Miles and Nora finally discover something that will change humankind, but will they survive to share that?
The cinematography of The Pyramid is very effective in capturing the terrifying feeling of being trapped beneath the earth without help. Special effects are excellent, and the undead Egyptian creatures and artifacts are more than believable, leaving the viewer looking forward to finding out more. Much like 2014’s As Above, So Below and The Mummy, The Pyramid has received some negative reviews, but it is a solid movie with a strong story line and excellent special effects. It will certainly appeal to viewers that have an affinity for Egypt and mummies. CrypticRock gives The Pyramid 3 out of 5 stars.