The Pyramid Review
The Pyramid, like many horror movies of late, is a mixed bag of great ideas, decent execution, and obvious flaws. During most of its runtime, I found it to be a nice approach to Egyptian mythos in horror, but when we finally get our reveal of the monster, the let down begins. It's too bad, because a majority of the film was heading in a solid direction.
The set pieces were offset by the atrocious CGI of our tiny antagonists and their big boss. In most scenes, the scavenging cat creatures felt more real than Anubis, which was a huge disappointment. In these cases, I always find myself enraged by the choice of execution. I would have much preferred brief glances of practical effects than an openly awful computer generated portrayal. It kills all realism and comes across as a cheapened SyFy Original.
The film is shot back and forth with 3rd person and 1st person cameras. The camera movement, even from the perspective of the cast's first-person cameras, is noticeably more controlled than most films of a similar vein. When you realize it, you appreciate it. But don't focus on it too much, or you soon will become confused on whether or not you are viewing the film from the 3rd person perspective or the point of view of a character. This was particularly disjointed in moments of danger, as you couldn't tell if a character was abandoning everyone else and cruelly recording their peril, or if we are capturing the film in a more conventional way at that particular moment.
It's funny when you realize this movie is a mixture of mythological genres. In fact, it's basically a Greek myth placed in an Egyptian setting. The pyramid is a maze and the monster inside, the minotaur, is replaced with the Egyptian god Anubis. It makes for an interesting premise, but then you realize that we haven't gotten a decent Greek interpretation, so why are we touching this concept in an Egyptian environment?
The most gaping hole of the plot (perhaps so gaping that I may have missed a reason in the plot to dismiss it) was the concept around the pyramid. Supposedly it was built to encase the god Anubis to keep him from sacrificing all of Egypt for his own eternal gain. It was built into a maze to keep him from escaping. However, there are many points in the film that make this reasoning for containing the creature seem unrealistic. Firstly, the exit is in plain view in the primary sacrificial chamber with a ladder running down it from previous uninvited guests. Anubis eventually runs up this tunnel and it is assumed he escapes. Why didn't he ever try this before? In earlier moments in the film, he is navigating secret passages with an subconscious-like ease. He clearly has some level of intelligence, and he's been "trapped" in this pyramid for hundreds of years. How could he have not tried this passage before? It makes no sense.
In the end, the CGI monster was the biggest disappointment since Dark was the Night. It's unfortunate, because I felt the rest of the film was rather well made and the production value was above par. It makes the final product all the more frustrating, because what is usually the easiest part of a horror film ended up being the only point that was weak.
Horror Qualifier: 8/10
Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 5/10