The Horror Honeys: Run Like An Egyptian... Far Away From THE PYRAMID

Run Like An Egyptian... Far Away From THE PYRAMID

An Eyerolling Monster Honey Review by Jennica

The Pyramid (2014)

No shit.
After spending the last week with a couple of my favorite archaeologists buried knee-deep in fossils and dinosaurs (and "droppings"), I was ready to dig into a new excursion. Somewhere warm where the sun is always beating down like a giant death ray. A place full of culture, and ancient artifacts, and... superstition. Next stop: Egypt. Despite its somewhat minimal advertisements prior to its theatrical release last year, The Pyramid (2014) caught my eye as I suspected that this wasn't the typical mummies-and-coffins sort of desert spookshow. 

Alas, 2014 was a lazy year on my end in the realm of horror and I've spent the better part of 2015 catching up on all the spectacles I've missed. And my compliments to screenwriters Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon for concocting a story centered around a unique villain in Egyptian mythology. Unfortunately, the visual effects team failed to do this monster justice. Oh, and I can't gripe enough about stupid people being stupid. There is plenty of that to go around in this creature feature.

The Plot: A documentarian (Christa Nicola) and her camerman (James Buckley) follow a team of archaeologists (Dennis O'Hare and Ashley Hinshaw) into a newly discovered pyramid after their WALL-E lookalike robot is ripped to shreds by an evil ancient creature.

Since the golden age of cinema, horror films set in the sandy desert of Egypt have become predictable. Mummies. It's always mummies. If they were ever horrifying before, they sure as Cairo aren't any longer. They're dirty, they smell, and they look like they were the victims of a fraternity hazing ritual. What is there to fear? 

If The Pyramid is deserving of any merit at all, it is that the story leaves any mention of mummies in the dust to introduce something new to make us run screaming. Enter Anubis, the half-man-half-jackal, the god of funerals and death, the protector of graves. And his signature move is devouring the hearts of those he deems impure. Also, his sidekicks  are flesh-eating kitties, I mean sphinxes. Anubis seems like such an obvious choice for a monster movie, but to my knowledge it has not been done before. 
I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille.

Another aspect that separates The Pyramid from the rest of the Egyptian tales of terror, is the documentary style of the film. A woman and her cameraman are eager to tell the story of archaeologists with an academic research grant who have discovered an uncharted pyramid in Egypt in the midst of a mass polital protest. Unlike many found footage or mockumentary films, there is a scholarly team with a legitimate reason for filming rather than a group of kids who can't even shoot footage from an iPhone without trembling hands.

Given the introduction of new sinister creatures in this mythological tale and the History Channel-like documentary style, The Pyramid had unquestionable potential. And all of that potential was obliterated during the attack of the CGI kitties. At a quick glance, I thought they were just giant rats as they somewhat resembled the rubber beady-eyed rodents that I used to buy at Halloween shops as a kid. Sadly, these were the beasts that I'm sure have made The Great Sphinx facepalm until its eyes bled.

Beyond the embarrassing effects were embarrassingly uneducated characters. Seriously, I can only assume that these clowns earned their doctorate degrees from the Universal Studios backlot. If a character has to explain what a sphinx is-- not to mention incorrectly-- mid-movie, I can only guess the target audience for this film. These are the people who compete on Wheel of Fortune because Alex Trebek just cannot even. It is not necessary to be a prodigy in order to at least pretend to be an authority on a subject. That's the beauty of giving an exceptional performance. The only benefit to the idiocy was that it was the cause of death for about half of the characters. 

Sphinx? Isn't that a muscle in your butt?
Despite the brief runtime of an hour and twenty-nine minutes, there were a number of times when I thought-- or rather hoped-- that the screen would finally fade to black and the credits would FINALLY start rolling... and I would be mistaken. Either there was some major indecisiveness over how to end this mess, or the repetitive jump scares crammed in toward the end were inserted for the sole purpose of ensuring that I was still awake.

Jennica's Rating: 1 Killer Kitty out of 5

Normally this is where I would encourage you guys and ghouls to check this movie out for yourselves. But I would rather have my heart consumed by Anubis himself and become kitty food than encourage such awful decision making. However, if the curiosity is absolutely killing you, know that you've been warned. The power of reason has spoken! 

For the love of Osiris, don't!
If you like to live dangerously, The Pyramid is available on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video.

Have you also endured the wrath of Anubis and his cat pack? 
Rant with me on Twitter: @PrmQueenFrmMars