Hello and Hallo-welcome to Monster Monday, where our intrepid bloggers face all manners of beasts! You join your reviewers, Andy and Lilly, as they dust off their copy of The Book of the Dead and start to read the ancient Egyptian warnings out loud.
Today’s film offering: The Pyramid
Lilly: Here at Hallowfest, we come across horror films several different ways. There are the ‘now playing’ films, like Blair Witch (later this month, check our calendar for dates!), Netflix finds (They’re Watching, coming up this Wednesday!) and recommendations (sometimes made by five year olds, tune in Friday for Monster High: Haunted!). Then there are films that I pick because American Horror Story: Hotel was over and I missed Denis O’Hare.
This is one of those films.
Andy: And also because dodgy found footage is practically our thing now.
Lilly: The Pyramid is a found footage film about an archaeological team (featuring a father and daughter team up, why not!) that finds a mysterious three-sided pyramid 600 feet underground outside of Giza.
Andy: Fun fact – the Egyptians never built three sided pyramids, mainly because they’d be a freaking architectural nightmare. It’s the same reason you don’t see too many equilateral triangle shaped skyscrapers.
Lilly: Added drama: there are uprisings happening in Giza, and the authorities want them out of there, pronto.
Andy: Political commentary!
Lilly: …So, naturally, they don’t go, and instead send in a rover for a quick little peek. The robot sadly gets attacked (RIP Shorty) by a mysterious beast, so, guess what! They go in. Did I mention a worker got killed by a toxic air released when they opened it? Whatever, they need the remains of that robot!
Andy: Which kinda defeats the purpose of the robot in the first place, if you think about it. Then again, if people acted sensibly in horror movies, there wouldn’t be any fun in them.
Lilly: What we got here, folks, is a classic whittle down found footage film, but with an Egyptian theme, it is kept interesting. Monster-wise (you knew there was a monster, right?), it was definitely surprising, and something I had only seen once before (and never fully realised) which is saying a lot, because, you know. We watch a lot of horror, surprise!
Andy: We’re trying really hard not to spoil it, but if you know anything at all about Egyptian mythology, you’ll probably get a giddy thrill. Damn, I think I may have given it away.
Lilly: Of course, interesting doesn’t mean good. The Pyramid has some excellent moments and some decent effects, but the acting is…well, Denis O’Hare was good? I enjoyed Amir K’s Zahir, aka the voice of semi-reason in this one, but sometimes you get a feeling off the other actors that they watched a found footage once and got the idea of how to be in one and went with it, rather than just reacting and, well, acting naturally given the circumstances they were put in. That isn’t something unique to horror films, though. Sometimes, genre seems to get stuck in actors heads and you get them acting like they are in a horror film, not like they are horrified. That’s a bit of a nitpicky problem, but it’s there.
Andy: I don’t think it’s nitpicky – a lot of horror depends on empathising with the characters, and if you merely see them as actors playing characters rather than fully-realised people, that can knock the legs out of any potential peril you put them in almost instantaneously. You care about what happens to the crew in Alien because they are a starship crew, not because they are Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, John Hurt etc.
Lilly: Overall, I enjoyed The Pyramid, but I also forgot the plot, so. Take from that what you will! It’s a fun little found footage romp with some interesting bits and pieces, so give it a watch if you think horror is all ghosts and zombies these days, or if you were into Egyptian stuff as a kid and now are into horror. On the Egyptian theme-ing front, this film definitely delivers.
Andy: I’ve been a little bit more subdued this review mainly because I forgot almost everything about it as soon as it was over. Which is probably not a recommendation.
Villain’s cool though.