The Pyramid (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Grégory Levasseur|
Chady Eli Mattar
Scott C. Silver
|Music by||Nima Fakhrara|
|Edited by||Scott C. Silver|
Fox International Productions
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$16.9 million|
The Pyramid is a 2014 American horror film directed by Grégory Levasseur, produced by Alexandre Aja, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is presented as found footage documenting the exploration of a recently discovered pyramid by a team of archaeologists. Written by Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon, the film stars Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O'Hare, James Buckley and Daniel Amerman. The Pyramid was released on December 5, 2014, and was negatively received by critics.
During the 2012–13 uprisings in Egypt, an archaeological team discovers a vast pyramid buried 600 feet (180 m) below the surface. Further examinations of the pyramid's apex reveals that the structure is three-sided, unlike any pyramid previously discovered. They locate a tunnel leading into the apex of the pyramid. While breaking into the opening, a large amount of toxic air is released, poisoning a worker. Soon after, Egyptian authorities order the team to leave the site because of a violent uprising in nearby Cairo. Team leader Dr. Miles Holden (O'Hare) and his daughter Nora argue over whether to obey the order. They eventually agree to send in a NASA-supplied remote-controlled rover vehicle – nicknamed Shorty – to enter the pyramid and document its interior.
While examining a small portion of the structure, Shorty is attacked by an unknown creature and goes offline. After a heated argument between Dr. Holden and Zahir (Amir K), the portion of the team that has remained at the site decide to enter the pyramid to recover Shorty. After finding only a piece of the rover, they discover the wire tracing their way back out was cut. Realizing they may be lost, they enter a room with an unstable floor that collapses beneath them. The team scramble to their feet and look around them. As they begin to become heated with one another, a sudden fall of debris injures team member Zahir, as it crushes his leg beneath a large stone chunk that is unmovable. Sunni (Nicola), another team member reporting on the find, attempts to climb up a long narrow opening but is attacked by a terrifying creature hidden at the top and falls back down. Nora notices scratches as if from claws across Sunni's cheek. Forced to leave Zahir behind, they look for another way out. Within moments, they hear Zahir's screams and return to find only a bloody trail leading up the wall, where he'd apparently been dragged off; his severed leg left pinned under the rock. His girlfriend Nora is left bewildered and distraught, and the team begins to lose hope of escape.
They are pursued through a narrow tunnel they attempt to escape through by a pack of the same creatures Sunni encountered before, which have an emaciated feral cat-like appearance. An Egyptian soldier, Shadid, who had found another way into the pyramid rescues them in time, pulling them out of the tunnel. After shooting a few of the creatures, he peers into the tunnel and is suddenly seized by a larger creature and pulled inside, snapping his back in the process (due to the small opening of the shaft he was pulled back through). Left to fend for themselves, the team soon comes upon a carved mural that depicts passages from the Book of the Dead and its guide to immortality – Anubis's weighing of the heart for access into the afterlife. A few jump-scares later, Dr. Holden accidentally triggers a sand trap and most of the team manage to escape. However, Sunni (during the chaos) is bumped from behind by the cameraman Fitzie (Buckley) and falls into a spike pit, impaling herself through her chest lower abdomen and leg. She is immediately pounced upon and torn to pieces by some of the feral cats. Dr. Holden throws a lit flare into the pit which scares away the cats, and the team lower themselves down. While racing against the dwindling light of the flare, the crew attempt to help Sunni. Unfortunately, they are not quick enough, and as they try to pull Sunni off the spikes, she suffers from a seizure and damages her internal organs. Sunni succumbs to her injuries and the team is forced to retreat by the return of the cats.
Forced to keep moving, the team finds a burial chamber which contains the corpse of an explorer (with a ring engraved with a Freemason symbol) who had been trapped in the pyramid roughly during the late 19th century. A journal he left behind details a possible escape route from the burial chamber. Dr. Holden begins to explain the map when suddenly a clawed hand stabs through his chest, tearing out his heart. Nora and Fitzie flee, but after realizing they're trapped, they return to find Dr. Holden still alive tied to a large scale, just like previously depicted on the mural. They quickly hide, just as the large creature reenters the room. Nora recognizes the creature as the Egyptian god Anubis, half jackal and half man, who is seen weighing Dr. Holden's heart in an ancient ritual to determine his worthiness to enter the afterlife. Miles Holden is deemed unworthy and dies when Anubis eats his heart.
After Anubis leaves, Nora and Fitzie decipher hieroglyphs in the chamber that indicate the pyramid was constructed to imprison Anubis, who is seeking to reunite with his creator, Osiris. They find an air shaft with a ladder left behind by the soldier Shadid, but as they attempt to escape, Anubis sees and pursues them. Nora climbs up first and Fitzie follows, but midway up the ladder he is grabbed from below and dragged to his death. Now alone, Nora continues to scramble up the crumbling ladder and reaches the top, but just as she does so, is captured by Anubis and dragged back down. Tied to an obelisk, she uses a blade hidden in her hand to slowly cut through her bonds before Anubis can finish his ritual. Once free, she wounds Anubis, who is then attacked by a horde of the scavenger cats allowing Nora to escape. Exhausted and traumatized, she finally climbs her way to freedom and collapses just before clearing the pyramid's exit (looking like the proverbial 'light at the end of the tunnel'). She awakens sunburned and injured, only to discover an Egyptian child playing with her camera. He looks questioningly at her, and she pleads for him to help her. Unable to understand her (as he does not speak English) the boy has no time to react before Anubis suddenly appears from the dark behind the boy. Lunging at them both, Anubis presumably kills them.
- Ashley Hinshaw as Dr. Nora Holden
- Denis O'Hare as Dr. Miles Holden
- James Buckley as Terry "Fitzie" Fitsimmons
- Christa-Marie Nicola as Sunni Marsh
- Amir K as Michael Zahir
- Joseph Beddelem as Taxi driver
- Garsha Arristos as Egyptian Worker
- Omar Benbrahim as Chubby Intern
- Philip Shelley as The Provost
- Faycal Attougui as Shadid
On July 7, 2014, 20th Century Fox picked up the distribution rights to the film, and was set for a release date for December 5, 2014. The release date it was then released on May 5, 2015 on DVD and Blu-ray as well on video on demand on April 17, 2015.
- North America
Released on December 5, 2014, in 589 theatres, the film underperformed, earning only $1.3 million. Although investors originally expected the film to make more than $20 million domestically, it made less than $2.8 million.
- Other territories
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The Pyramid was heavily panned by critics, with Moviefone and CraveOnline both naming it one of the worst films of 2014. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 13%, based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 2.8/10. The site's consensus reads "Poorly lit and thinly writ, The Pyramid houses little more than clunky dialogue, amateurish acting, and dusty found-footage scares." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 24 out of 100 based on 16 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Lelsie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter called it "a stinker in every sense." Drew Taylor of The Playlist wrote, "The Pyramid is cursed. Only, instead of an ancient evil, it's just plagued by inept filmmaking." Alonso Duralde of The Wrap said, "The ultimate moral of The Pyramid, and of almost every other film where an underground mummy or scarab or tomb wreaks havoc, is that some things were never meant to be uncovered. Some movies, too."
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- "The Pyramid (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
- Turek, Ryan (July 7, 2014). "20th Century Fox Takes You into The Pyramid This December". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
- Turek, Ryan (July 7, 2014). "Did you miss The Pyramid in theatres it on Digital HD April 17th and then online and in stores on Blu-ray and DVD May 5th". Dread Central. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
- Anthony D'Alessandro (December 4, 2014). "Majors Take A Holiday From New Wide Releases – Weekend Box Office Preview". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- Hall, Jacob (December 7, 2014). "Weekend Box Office Report: 'The Pyramid' Gets Buried Upon Arrival". Screencrush.com.
- "HSX.com – MovieStock : The Pyramid". Retrieved January 5, 2015.
- Nancy Tartaglione (December 7, 2014). "'Exodus: Gods And Kings' Commands $23.1M In Overseas Debut: Intl Box Office". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- "The Worst Films of 2014". CraveOnline. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
- "The 10 Worst Movies of 2014". The Moviefone Blog. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
- "The Pyramid". Rotten Tomatoes. December 5, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
- "The Pyramid". Metacritic. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- Leslie Felperin. "'The Pyramid': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- Drew Taylor (December 5, 2014). "Review: Found Footage Horror Movie 'The Pyramid' Starring – The Playlist". The Playlist. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- Alonso Duralde (December 5, 2014). "'The Pyramid' Review: It's a Little 'Indiana Jones' and a Little 'Mummy' — But Mostly Dopey". The Wrap. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
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