Friday, October 23, 2009

31 days of Halloween: Pitch Black

Pitch Black (later known as The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black) is a 2000 science fiction/horror film. The film stars Vin Diesel and is directed by David Twohy.

The film starts with a crash. A serious crash. The transport ship carrying passengers and a dangerous prisioner, Richard B. Riddick (Diesel), is struck by a freak meteor storm "off the beaten path" on their way through space. By luck the ship navigates towards the nearest habitable planet, where it promptly crashes.

The film also stars Radha Mitchell as Carolyn Fry, Cole Hauser as William J. Johns, Keith David as Abu "Imam" al-Walid, Lewis Fitz-Gerald as Paris P. Ogilvie, Claudia Black as Sharon "Shazza" Montgomery, Rhiana Griffith as Jack, and John Moore as John "Zeke" Ezekiel.

Co-pilot Carolyn Fry (Mitchell) successfully saves as many of the passengers as possible, though she contemplates letting them die to save her and the pilot's lives. After the crash, the few survivors discover that Riddick has escaped.

The planet is hell (it's called Hades, which is fitting), with three suns that never seem to set lighting it. The other survivors include Muslim Imam (David) and his three assistants (aka fodder for the monsters), young Jack (Griffith), Paris P. Ogilvie (Fitz-Gerald), Zeke (Moore), Shazza (Black), and a bounty hunter named William J. Johns (Hauser). The survivors attempt to avoid Riddick while they fight to survive the heat. They discover an abandoned facility, abandoned almost two decades earlier. They they soon discover the ugly truth that darkness is coming, and so are the creatures of the night.

I loved the film's use of color to indicate the various "suns" that appeared above the sky, and the creatures (which I don't believe are ever named) are pretty freaky. While I wouldn't totally classify this as a "horror" film - as it's more a sci-fi adventure, the film is pretty creepy in it's own right if the mood is good.

The film was a minor hit, making 53 million dollars worldwide over a budget of 23 million. A sequel, Chronicles of Riddick, which I adore did not do as well, though there is at least one if not two more Riddick films in the works. Both Diesel and Twohy are set to return, and I can't be happier.

*** 1/2 out of *****

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