The Pyramid (Blu-ray Review)

I am a sucker for anything regarding Egyptology. Even if it’s semi-related and mostly imaginable, I still \want to know what it’s about. When The Pyramid debuted in theaters last December, I made it a point to catch it on the big screen. Unfortunately, this picture was in and out of theaters in record time, relegating the anxious to wait until a disc release. Here we are five months later and the waiting has come to an end! But was it worth it?  Based on the quick exit from the cinema, I didn’t have high expectations.


The film starts off in Cairo, Egypt at the famed Pyramids at Giza.  Fast forward a few kilometers and our fearless archaeology team is in a new location as they have recently stumbled across what could be the find of the century: a three-sided pyramid buried in the desert with only its apex protruding from the sand’s surface.  Surely this is an invitation to dig further and inspect the hallowed structure, no?

Starring Denis O’Hare (True Blood) and Ashley Hinshaw (Chronicle), the movie focuses on an aforementioned archaeology team seeking more information on their latest find.  Pressed by time and a heated political climate in Egypt, the team is forced to make a hasty entrance in the pre-biblical structure.  Unfortunate for the team, they encounter hazard after curse after hazard in the archaic building.

The Pyramid is supposed to be a horror movie, but in reality, it is not any more of a horror film than a film like Predator is (action + gore ≠ horror).  In fact, it falls quite short in this regard as it uses tired scare tactics that Hollywood has rehashed over and over.   This formula ultimately erodes the attribute of unpredictability, which is rather non-existent by the time the film reaches its halfway point.  Even the extended ending after the credits does little to wow the viewer or put them in a mindset of “I want to see more.”  Still, with all that being said, there is some entertainment value here with a unique twist in place providing a sort of “what if” regarding Egyptian mythology.

Pyramid gas


The Pyramid is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio with 1080p resolution and an MPEG-4 AVC encode.  While the film occasionally flips back and forth from a traditional third person view to a found footage style, the movie is mostly portrayed in the traditional third person.  The transition is done well and may not even be noticeable for some viewers as the found footage portions never really feel like typical found footage films.  For instance, last year’s As Above So Below looked and felt very much like a first-person, handheld camera guiding viewers down narrow corridors.  Here, it feels too clean in the first-person view.

The outdoor scenes of the barren desert landscape pop with brilliant earth tones, limited as they may be.  The video of scenes inside the pyramid take on a different look, obviously, as things become much darker.  There is even one sequence that dragged on an uncomfortably long period of time.  There was apparently motion on the screen.  However, it was so dark that the only thing visible, for the most part, was the dark floor that was just less dark than the rest of the room it was in.  Eventually you see a few pairs of slow-moving legs navigating the luminescent-challenged building.



The audio is a bit more highly favored on this Blu-ray in The Pyramid‘s lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 delivery.  While not everyone has surround sound, I will say this is one movie that is helped tremendously with the addition of such a system.  As is the norm, the front channels deliver the dialogue while the rear speakers tantalize with the suspenseful nuances that make an effort to build tension.

Pyramid corridor


There isn’t a whole lot to go around here as far as special features/extras are concerned.  On the bright side, the disc does come with a digital download.  As for the disc-based extras, let’s have at it:

  • Extended Ending (1:06…also featured after the credits conclude)
  • Promotional Featurettes:
    • Fear (:58)
    • Space Archaeology (2:11)
    • Egyptian Myth (2:14)
    • Partners (1:28)
  • Gallery (production stills)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2:19)
  • Sneak Peek (6:38)


The Pyramid had a ton of potential, but it felt very much like a less dizzying version of As Above So Below.  I’ve had my fair share of found-footage films, so to be able to follow the story without needing a Dramamine was a plus.  On the flip side, the acting was a little overdone at times, the scares were minimal at best and the CGI was suspect.  Like I said earlier though, there is still entertainment to be found here.  If anything, there are worse ways to bury 90 minutes of your time.  The Pyramid brings a cool concept to the table, so it gets points there.  Unfortunately, the execution of it all could have been much better.





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