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Gregory Levasseur
Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O'Hare, James Buckley, Christa Nicola
Writing Credits:
Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon

The Curse Is Real.

An archaeological team attempts to unlock the secrets of a lost pyramid only to find themselves hunted by an insidious creature.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DVS
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 89 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 5/5/2015
• Extended Ending
• Four Promotional Featurettes
• Gallery
• Trailer and Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Pyramid [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 7, 2015)

With 2014’s The Pyramid, we get a horror film set in Egypt. A text intro tells us that in 2013, American archaeologists located a previously undiscovered pyramid in the desert. Chaos ensues among the citizenry, but efforts proceed to excavate the site.

We follow this work from the perspective of a documentary crew. Led by producer Sunni (Christa Nicola), we meet the archaeological team of Dr. Miles Holden (Denis O’Hare) and his daughter Nora (Ashley Hinshaw). As they delve deeper into the pyramid, they discover mysterious secrets – and hidden terror.

When will the “found footage” genre die? When those movies cease to make a profit, I guess, and given how little most of these efforts cost, I suspect that day won’t arrive any time soon. For instance, even though 2014’s Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones took in a weak $32 million, because it only cost $5 million to make, it earned money.

I couldn’t locate a budget for Pyramid, but since it grossed only $14 million worldwide, I suspect it earned a tiny profit at best. While I’m sure it didn’t cost much to shoot, $14 million across the globe – and a pathetic $2.8 million US – doesn’t inspire confidence.

Nor should it, as Pyramid offers a weak entry in both the horror and “found footage” fields. It comes with all the flaws one associates with both genres. In terms of “found footage” drawbacks, Pyramid feels like an excuse to avoid good cinematography. The documentary aspect lacks a need to exist and seems cheap/easy.

This turns the experience into a clumsy piece of filmmaking. Pyramid uses the “found footage” conceit when its chooses but avoids the so-called “realism” far too often. We see shots that don’t make sense for the crew to have filmed – and from a variety of angles, too!

We also find elements that the documentarians couldn’t have recorded. For instance, when the characters move a stone to open a portal, we watch this from the other side, a place no cameraman could be.

Examples of these “found footage violations” abound and make Pyramid a mess. Why bother with the first-person motif if you plan to ignore the “rules” so often? Pyramid wants to mix “found footage” shots with traditional techniques and it doesn’t work. The hybrid nature simply creates a muddled mess.

Pyramid also suffers from other questionable filmmaking choices. The movie comes with a score, and that’s a bad decision. Again, if one wants this to feel like material shot on the fly, it shouldn’t come with movie post-production elements such as music. The filmmakers don’t seem to feel confident enough to follow the “found footage” style in the appropriate manner, so we get a strange, off-putting melange.

Perhaps if Pyramid came with a compelling story, interesting characters or decent horror, I might forgive the poor filmmaking on display. Alas, the movie does little more than package dull personalities with a bunch of cheap “scares” and various clichés. It comes across as a lazy compilation of scenes from other flicks and never threatens to create its own personality.

Maybe a decent movie exists beneath the surface, but The Pyramid never threatens to turn into anything interesting. A cheap, amateurish effort with no excitement or tension on display, the film creates a dull, forgettable experience.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D

The Pyramid appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing presentation.

Sharpness was mostly good. A smidgen of softness occasionally popped up in some wider elements, but the majority of the movie seemed pretty concise. I noticed no shimmering or jagged edges, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the image.

Given the desert setting, the movie usually opted for a sandy/amber feel. Some teal also appeared, and the hues seemed fine given the film’s visual goals. Blacks looked deep and full, and low-light shots presented nice clarity. The transfer consistently worked well.

I also felt pleased with the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1. Though not a rock-em sock-em soundtrack, the audio opened up well on enough occasions to create a useful soundscape.

This occurred most prominently during action/terror scenes, as those used the channels in an involving manner. Other sequences seemed less stimulating, but they still created a pretty good sense of environment.

Audio quality satisfied. Speech was natural and distinctive, while the mostly low-key score showed solid range and clarity. Effects appeared accurate and dynamic, with good punch when necessary. In the end, the soundtrack suited the story.

Only a smattering of extras appear here, and these start with an extended ending. It lasts one minute, six seconds and shows what happens to the message Dr. Holden sends from inside the pyramid. It feels like it exists solely to leave room for a sequel.

Four Promotional Featurettes ensue. We find “Fear” (0:58), “Space Archaeology” (2:11), “Egyptian Myth” (2:14) and “Partners” (1:28). Across these, we hear from producers Scott Silver and Alexandre Aja, director Gregory Levasseur and actors Ashley Hinshaw and Denis O’Hare. Some very basic notes emerge, but these clips exist to advertise the movie, so don’t expect much.

Next we get a Gallery. It gives us 28 photos that mix shots from the set as well as effects material. It’s a short but reasonably good compilation of images.

The disc opens with ads for The Lazarus Effect, Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort and American Horror Story. Sneak Peek adds a clip for The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, and we also find the trailer for Pyramid.

If there’s life in the “found footage” genre, one won’t find evidence of it via 2014’s The Pyramid. A dull attempt at horror, it lacks anything other than generic scares and bad cinematography. The Blu-ray provides solid picture and audio as well as some minor bonus materials. Skip this trite effort.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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