When a previously unknown pyramid is discovered in the Egyptian desert during the Arab Spring uprising, the archaeological team decide to use their remaining couple of hours before they are evacuated to open and explore some of the tomb
Almost none of the set-up for the story makes sense or bears any relevance to the film as it unfolds. The introduction makes a big deal of the social and political unrest in Egypt but beyond giving a reason why the dig is being shut down, it doesn’t impact on the plot – and that’s just one of the potential plot threads which are set up only to be left hanging. The archaeologists and camera crew who follow them make the scientists from “Prometheus” look like, well, competent scientists and the level of stupidity on show quickly escalates from frustrating to face palm.
The writing is abject, with little thought to plot logic or consistency. Various characters are exactly as stupid or brave or clumsy or insightful or craven as the script needs them to be at that point, without any reference to characterisation. The opening of the tomb is used as an opportunity for a fart joke, for God’s sake. Far from inciting terror, once we are inside the pyramid we’re subjected to a series of “Crystal Maze” level sets and traps and death scenes which are more inadvertently comedic than gruesomely chilling. Any jump cut scares are telegraphed well in advance and towards the end of the movie, as character numbers dwindle, it completely abandons the found footage/ point of view approach without hesitation or explanation and there’s more entertainment in trying to figure out ‘okay, who exactly is filming this?’ than there is to watch the film. The special effects are especially shitty with the eventual creature reveal looking like that episode in “Family Guy” when Brian shaved off all his fur.
Of the largely no-name cast, the most recognisable is probably James Buckley (famous as Jay from “The Inbetweeners”) who shows his range as an actor by playing Jay from “The Inbetweeners” but with a beard. Both Ashley Hinshaw (“Chronicle”) and Denis O’Hare (“Dallas Buyers Club”) have been better in much better films so the blame must surely rest with the script, direction and production, which is a shame because there’s some potential in the premise.
Failing even to reach the ‘so bad it’s good’ ironic level, even if you go into this with rock bottom expectations you’re probably going to still be disappointed. There’s a scene near the beginning when they finally open the tomb, releasing toxic spore filled air which immediately blinds and incapacitates one of the digging team. By half way through the film, you’ll envy him his fate.