You’re Not Afraid of the Dark, Are You?

Pitch Black made a star out of Vin Diesel. Although I was alive in 2000, I don’t think I ever heard of Pitch Black. For years I thought The Chronicles of Riddick was a stand alone movie. Little did I know Vin Diesel’s first iconic character made his debut in a horror themed sci-fi action flick. Pitch Black feels like a slasher movie, if the slasher was forced to work alongside his victims to face a greater threat. The simple premise sees a spacecraft from the distant future transporting a group of cryogenically frozen passengers.

When the ship crash lands on an alien planet, a cast of unique individuals try to survive. There’s a reluctant captain, a cop, a Muslim preacher and his followers, some prospectors, and an impressionable teenager. Although the guilt ridden Carolyn Fry is technically the heroic main character, Pitch Black is more interested in following the villain. Richard B. Riddick is a murderous criminal with a permanent eye shine that gives him night vision. Between his goggles and Diesel’s intimidating physique, I can see why Riddick earned a following.

I just wasn’t a fan of his nihilistic outlook, the disorientating early 2000’s camera work, or the disposal feel of most of the characters. It’s really the concept that drew me in the most. The desert planet has 3 suns that give the film a unique look of either orange or blue light. The R rating is put to use when a horde of nocturnal winged CGI alien creatures hunt the passengers after an eclipse turns the planet pitch black. Although it suffers from conventions of the time, Pitch Black stands out for its intense darkened action.

Pitch Black

Riddick lies in wait

Followed by: The Chronicles of Riddick

13 thoughts on “You’re Not Afraid of the Dark, Are You?

  1. I rewatched this last year as I decided to watch the others… I wasn’t all that taken by it when I saw it initially, but I fair enjoyed it on the rewatch. Definitely the most difficult of them to watch, right enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember HBO and Cinemax showed this a lot when I was in 5th to 8th grade in the early 2000’s. After reading your write up and thinking back on what little I did see of it, the film definitely comes off as a Post Gen. X version of Alien with the dark and grim atmosphere and characters who seem resigned that the elusive creatures will get them.

    Liked by 1 person

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