05 August 2015

THE PYRAMID (2014)

THE PYRAMID

German Title:
The Pyramid - Grab des Grauens

USA, 2014
Director: Grégory Levasseur

4/10









Screenwriter Grégory Levasseur is a good friend and regular collaborator of French filmmakers Alexandre Aja and Franck Khalfoun. He worked on almost all of Aja's films, for example "High Tension" (screenplay, art direction), "The Hills Have Eyes" (screenplay, second unit direction, art direction), "Mirrors" (screenplay, second unit direction, production) or "Piranha 3D" (second unit direction, production), and he also worked on Khalfoun's "P2" (screenplay, production)
and "Maniac" (screenplay).

In 2013, Aja sent his buddy the script for an Egypt-based horror film called "The Pyramid" and asked him to direct it. Levasseur loved the story about a long-lost pyramid with three sides that becomes the grave of a few archaeologists who fall into the hands of a few fierce creatures, and he eventually decided that this would be his directorial feature. Unfortunately, the interesting project which sounded really promising to me (finally a pyramid-themed film without a murderous mummy...), turns out to be quite a dud and falls flat on its face.


From the constantly-breaking-the-rules-of found-footage-camera-work to the movie's basic concept that never knows what it wants to be - found footage? mockumentary? straight creature feature? - to the underwhelming cardboard characters, "The Pyramid" dashed all of my expectations and disappointed me more than I thought it would. It's not a bad movie, but it's a movie that could have been so much better if the studios and filmmakers involved would have made certain things differently, like using a higher budget, doing some major rewrites, shooting it in a non-found-footage style etc.

It's the middle section and parts of the movie's finale that worked best for me with several scenes and sequences that either seem to pay tribute to "The Descent", as well as possessing a certain 80s-like atmosphere that somehow reminded me of forgotten films like "Sphinx" or "The Awakening". There's some neat kills and cool monster-action going on (though the final supposed-to-be-wow "monster" looks a bit too silly), the acting is decent and Nima Fakhrara's ("Exists")
Oriental music is excellent...


...but that's not enough and totally doesn't help when you have characters you just can't root for (including an unbelievably idiotic, unbelievably unnerving cameraman), weird sub-plots that go nowhere, too many slow-paced and/or highly foreseeable scenes, annoying camera work and a gimmicky eeling that makes you think the movie takes actually place in a ghost ride, rather than in a pyramid.
I recommend to watch the
Italian "The Pyramid" instead.

4 comments:

  1. I think if they worked away the found footage element from this film, and then perhaps add more characters for the monsters and traps to pick off, this would have been more awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't have sait it better, Kai. This could have been soooo much better...

      Delete
  2. This does sound lackluster. I did like P2 though.

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