The Pyramid had an incredibly strange release last December. I remember being interested in the movie based solely on the poster (which is the banner image above, pretty rad right?) but I didn’t see any advertisements for it anywhere. No commercials, no trailers, nothing. Days before release I still hadn’t seen any semblance of promotion for it except for a handful of things online. Then it came out and didn’t play at a single theatre in Canada. I think that’s the first time a horror movie has pulled that nonsense. At first I was upset but then critics and audiences all hated it and it made no money. So I felt better about it. Plus the trailer I did seek out pulled that “here’s people in a theatre being way scared!” nonsense. Then I actually the movie and you guys…The Pyramid is pretty rad.
The Pyramid is technically a found footage movie, but it’s not committed at all to the gimmick. There are times where the found footage angle is completely dropped and it’s just shot like a movie. There is no reason for this to be happening within the fiction of the story. I’ve seen a lot of people complain about this but honestly I didn’t care at all. I’m so done with found footage that I was relieved to find this wasn’t a pure found footage experience. Plus let’s face it, almost none of these movies present a convincing reason why any of this is being filmed, especially past a certain point. I mean I love Cloverfield but Jesus dude, put that shit down and focus on running away! So already The Pyramid gets a point.
The early stages of the movie aren’t particularly interesting really. An archaeological team uncovers a weird pyramid buried under the sand that only has three sides instead of the typical four. They talk about how amazing this is and what a find they have and so on. They eventually send a drone into the pyramid, it gets attacked by some unseen thing. The dialogue and acting are passable but it doesn’t make for a terrifically rip roaring opening act.
Then they open up the pyramid and go inside. Then shit goes offffffff!
It’s going to be hard to talk about this chunk of the movie without spoiling each and every individual moment because this movie is far crazier than I ever could have expected. I remember seeing that Alexandre Aja was involved and was confused because this didn’t seem like a project that the director of The Hills Have Eyes and Pirahna remakes would attach himself too. Those movies are all kinds of bananas and this looked to be a very standard “being hunted in a dark, enclosed space” thriller. It didn’t take long into the second half to discover that nope, this is right up there at the appropriate level of Aja ridiculousness.
The deaths are often completely unexpected, surprisingly gruesome and so over the top you can’t help, or at least I couldn’t help, but laugh. Then they reveal what seems to be the creatures responsible for stalking our heroes and that too is so stupidly crazy I couldn’t help but be way into it. But then the movie decides “fuck this! Take it up another notch!” and the true villain of the piece was revealed. I was in awe that they were willing to go that over the top with it and it’s real dumb but the perfect amount of dumb that I was absolutely on board. I think….I think I have to spoil it. Ok don’t read this next paragraph if you don’t want it ruined for you. SPOILERS INCOMING!
BEGIN SPOILERS - Initially you are led to believe that insane cats who are thousands of years old are the primary antagonist in this piece. That’s pretty stupid and awesome, but then you go on to find out that in fact the main bad guy is the Egyptian god Anubis. The pyramid was built as a prison for Anubis and he spends the last chunk of the movie ripping out hearts and straight murdering fools. It’s…well it’s pretty incredible. – END SPOILERS
I read a few reviews that mentioned the entire movie takes place in pitch black environments where you can’t actually see anything or tell what is going on. I didn’t find that to be the case at all. When the stuff mentioned above goes down, they don’t shy away from putting all of the action right on camera. If anything they probably could have shown less. Actually no because that would make this movie at least 20% less weird and dumb and awesome so I take that back.
I feel I am going to be incredibly alone with my thoughts on The Pyramid. Maybe others will say it was all predicable but I was surprised by some of the routes will go. I’m positive that others will find it stupid instead of “stupidly awesome” like I did. But whatever, I was way into this movie and I own it now and I will watch it again because it’s awesome and stupid and awesome and dumb.