A decent enough debut

by Nav Qateel

A father and daughter-led archaeological team, excavate a previously-hidden pyramid. With a camera crew on-tow to document the rare and unusual discovery, the group quickly find themselves hopelessly lost and being hunted. They also become infected with some rare disease, and to top all that off, the labyrinthine pyramid is filled with more traps than you can shake a copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark at.

The Pyramid is Grégory Levasseur’s debut directorial effort, and his a name well known among cinema aficionados for co-writing some excellent movies with director Alexandre Aja. Aja is listed as a producer, but none of his magic seemed to have rubbed off. Unlike many other reviewers, I didn’t find The Pyramid to be a bad film. And while I’ll agree that there was some cringe-worthy dialogue and a couple of unlikable characters that I was delighted to see brutally killed, it was ultimately rather entertaining.

The Pyramid
Directed by
Grégory Levasseur
Ashley Hinshaw, James Buckley, Denis O’Hare
Release Date
5 December 2014
Nav’s Grade: C+

Denis O’Hare plays the thoroughly unlikable Dr. Holden, an archaeologist who’s in deep denial about everything, even when faced with blatantly obvious facts. I’ve seen O’Hare in several movies and TV shows, like True Blood and American Horror Story, and I’ve always enjoyed each and every performance the actor’s given. But not in this film.

Ashley Hinshaw’s character Nora, on the other hand, was one that I did happen to find more appealing and way less annoying. Nora and her father are occasionally at odds, but when push comes to shove, she backs her father up, even when he’s lying to others about the death of one of their team.

The relatively inexperienced Christa Nicola put in a decent turn, although the actress did struggle a little when called to do more dramatic scenes. However, with a bit more experience behind her, Nicola’s obvious talent will come through. James Buckley’s character Fitzie had some of the most idiotic lines to deliver, like when one of the team has a huge stone crush his legs flat, obviously pinning the guy there forever, while there’s a creature slaughtering them one by one: “Is he going to die?” asks a whining Fitzie. (Eyeroll)

The sets inside the pyramid were first rate, and I liked the CGI creatures for what they were. They certainly weren’t in the same league as anything you’ll ever see Andy Serkis attached to, but they served their purpose well enough. A couple of the jump-scares were pretty effective, with one in particular that almost gave me a heart attack.

For a debut movie, Grégory Levasseur has done a decent enough job. I think most folk are bombing this movie because they automatically expected him to be as good as Alexandre Aja on his first try. You should make up your own minds and decide for yourself. This feels a bit like the way the fanboys hated on the Evil Dead remake. If I had listened to them I’d have missed out on a perfectly good horror.