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The Pyramid

Director: Grégory Lavasseur

Cast: Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O’Hare, James Buckley, Christa Nicola and Amir Kamyab

Classification: VH

Running time: 89 minutes

Rating: *

IS the concept of a magnificently crafted spine-chilling horror lost on filmmakers these days? I really have to ask.

As a horror buff, I’m starting to have serious withdrawal symptoms, more so after enduring a volley of insufferable attempts – The Purge and As Above, So Below being key examples.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it does – The Pyramid is unleashed.

But before I rant about what’s wrong with this movie, a storyline overview is warranted.

When Cairo is plagued by civil unrest, a US archaeological team – headed by Holden (O’Hare), his intrepid daughter Nora (Hinshaw) and her tech-savvy boyfriend Zahir (Amir K) – brave the volatile political atmosphere eager to explore a lost pyramid that is discovered in the Egyptian desert. Meanwhile, Sunni (Nicola), an ambitious documentarian, and her camera guy Fitzie (Buckley), get the green light to tag along on the expedition, too.

Just as they make headway in the excavation, the project is canned due to the tense situation. Of course, leaving this monumental discovery in its virginal state doesn’t sit well with the team and with curiosity getting the better of them, they enter the tomb for a little peek about.

As far storylines go, this one is as gormless as they come. Whereas Egypt’s rich tapestry of folklore around curses and pharoahs could have been ploughed for far more creative silage, the writer clearly didn’t deem it important enough.

Instead, viewers have to sit through so-called experts embarking on a rather amateurish excursion. How else do you explain away the fact that they can’t even decipher the hieroglyphics?

In fact, everything about this movie smacks of it being more of a high-school effort. It is inferior, from the directing to the casting to the editing process. And let’s not forget its cardinal film-making faux pas – feeble storytelling. It really doesn’t matter whether they cast an A-list actor or a Z-list actor, this is an unsalvageable disaster.

Half way through the movie, I started to root for the mythological creature that was lurking in those dark corridors, hoping that the characters would be quickly killed off so that my torture could end. My boredom and restlessness confirmed that I was being wishful, of course!

If you liked As Above, So Below, The Purge or any of the Paranormal Activity movies, you should enjoy this.