Fight evil with evil.
"Nightmarish! Pitch Black taps into our lurking primal terrors. The New York Times
|A group of marooned space travelers struggle for survival on a seemingly lifeless sun-scorched world.|
"The scariest sci-fi thriller in years! TNT Roughcut
"Packed with razzle-dazzle special effects and fueled with aggressive, hyperactive cinematography and a pulse-pounding narrative... Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
"Ferociously inventive. Gemma Files, Film.com
"...tart dialogue...compelling lead performances...vivid violence...stunning cinematography...complete and satisfying... Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian
A spacecraft carrying an assortment of passengers including Riddick (Vin Diesel), a dangerous, shackled murderer between prisons, is forced to make a crash landing on a barren, triple-sunned planet after the craft suffers severe damage during a meteor shower. The ship is ripped into pieces, killing several crew members and leaving meek officer Fry (Radha Mitchell) in charge of the survivors. After two unfortunate deaths, the survivors discover that the only visible life form on the planet is a species of light-fearing, carnivorous, occasionally cannibalistic aliens dwelling in caverns beneath the desert surface. Using a model of the planet and its suns in an abandoned research station, Fry deduces that she and her fellow travellers have unfortunately descended on the planet on the day of its first total eclipse in 22 years, giving them mere hours before they are bathed in total darkness. Only then is it safe for the hungry subterranean creatures to emerge, seeking to feed on the remaining survivors. However, the dangerous Riddick, through black market injections received in lock-up, is able to see in darkness- causing the surviving crew members to reluctantly remain dependent on the potentially harmful criminal. As the survivors are killed one by one by the hungry creatures, they realize that Riddick may be their only hope.
Cast & Crew
A dark, atmospheric sci-fi thriller with a sharp sense of humor. When a spacecraft crashes on a mysterious planet, the remaining survivors turn to Riddick (Diesel), a convicted murderer, to help them survive. It appears that the only life form on the planet is a dangerous species of flesh-eating alien that emerges from underground when darkness appears. Before long, the abandoned passengers realize that a rare eclipse is about to immerse the planet in darkness, declaring open season on each and every one of them.
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"...Deisel has so much presence that you don't look away when he's on-screen."
"...Weirdly cool....Coolly weird..." -- Rating: B
"...Superior stuff....A craftily crafted and stylishly shot outer-spacer..." -- 4 out of 5 stars
New York Times
"...The movie shrewdly taps into the lurking primal terrors of anyone who ever had to sleep with a night light..."
"...Vin Diesel's demeanor is refreshing and the combination of his voice and physical build make his character memorable....Not since the coming of the Terminator has there been an anti-hero so worth cheering..."
Los Angeles Times
"...[Twohy] brings maximum razzle-dazzle and energy to the film....[Vin Diesel] has an intelligence and authority to match his imposing physical presence..."
"Diesel, with his wrestler's muscles and basso profundo voice, makes a superb bad guy..."
Salon.com 7 of 10
Packed with razzle-dazzle special effects and fueled with aggressive, hyperactive cinematography and
- Andrew O'Hehir
Variety 6 of 10
Basically plotless, "Pitch Black," the new Aussie-lensed sci-fi thriller, is a bargain-basement "Aliens." Mildly scary but not particularly engaging on any other level, David Twohy's derivative tale concerns a pilot (played by the beautiful Radha Mitchell in a Sigourney Weaver-like role) who crash-lands her spacecraft on a distant, hot planet inhabited by mysterious creatures...Twohy, who helmed "The Arrival" and "Disaster in Time," spins a tale that recalls B-grade '50s sci-fi, rather than state-of-the-art genre items, in its one-dimensional characterizations and mostly indifferent f/x...The only element that delivers in this disappointing feature is Graeme Revell's striking score...Brothers Jim and Ken Wheat, who have scripted a number of cheesy sequels for the big and small screen ("The Fly II," "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" and "The Birds II: Land's End"), are unable to sustain tension. Worse, a number of the characters are simply not interesting enough to generate viewer sympathy or concern over their survival...Tech credits for what seems to be a small-budget sci-fi are average, with production design by reliable pro Graham "Grace" Walker a notch or two above the rest. Ferocious attacks by the planet's monstrous creatures manage only partially to alleviate the tedium that defines the movie.
- Emanuel Levy
ReelViews 8 of 10
Pitch Black can be viewed as a slick, stylish version of the kind of outer space creature feature that is typified best by the Alien movies. At its best (which is quite often), Pitch Black is an entertaining effort. On the down side, there are times when various largely anonymous characters wander around in the dark and do incredibly stupid things while being stalked by vicious alien creatures. As they get picked off one-by-one, the only question is who's going to be next...The acting is solid, if largely unremarkable. Most of the principals have fallen effortlessly into the stereotyped roles of quirky characters who are basically waiting to be the aliens' next meal...Pitch Black has a stylish look. The outdoor sequences, which are nearly monochromatic to emphasize the color-leeching power of the multiple suns, are effectively photographed. After the eclipse occurs, there are some genuinely creepy sequences featuring packs of aliens honing in on the protagonists, who are only able to keep them at bay by waving around lights. For the most part, the special effects are first-rate - I was impressed by the scene of a ringed planet sliding across the sky on its way to block out the sun. These strong visuals complement a workmanlike script, resulting in a consistently engaging science fiction/horror excursion.
- James Berardinelli