Retro Review: Pitch Black

When the lights go out, fear smiles a little brighter. Oh so they say.

“Pitch Black” is director David N. Twohy’s third outing as director and second science fiction film.

The story chronicles the crash landing of a passenger spaceship.

The spaceship crashes onto a planet that has three suns and is inhabited by underground creatures that live in the utter darkness.

The ménage of survivors quickly find out that the planet will have a once in 22 years eclipse on the second day of their arrival.

Upon the dawn of the eclipse the planet’s inhabitants become rabid and blood-thirsty. Now all they can do is survive the dark.

To start off with “Pitch Black” isn’t a perfect film or even an “Aliens” or “Terminator” but it does have a lot to offer in the sci-fi movie genre.

What it does serve up is an interesting look at how a movie’s texture and feel can steal the show creating an interesting ride.

The cast is hardly worth mentioning and the script is confusing at times but the two stand-outs in the cast and some nasty creatures makes Pitch Black entertaining.

The stand-outs would be the “Terminator” presence of Vin Diesel and a “Ripley-esque” Radha Mitchell. Mitchell is particularly good shadowing the brutality displayed by Diesel.

Her flawed character wrestles with the guilt of crashing which develops her character for the audience and helps us relate to their unbelievable situation. Diesel, on the other hand, is a star in the making and delivers a convincing villain with a conscience.

Pitch Black is one of those monster flicks that belong in the same category with classics like “Leviathan (1989)”, “Deep Star Six (1989)”, “Pumpkinhead (1988)” and “Mimic (1997)”.

These are probably little known to the masses but are horror/creature gems on video. What “Pitch Black” has in common with these films is excellent special effect creatures and little known stars. And they prove sometimes that’s not so bad.

(3 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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