Archive: Pitch Black (2000) A Review

It’s cheesy and the dialogue is all kinds of hokey.  But I’m not going to lie, this is one of my favourite guilty pleasure films and I felt the need to share it with all of you.

Certificate: 15

Director: David Twohy

Screenwriter: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat

Starring: Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Vin Diesel

Genre: Sci Fi, Horror

Runtime: 109 Minutes

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

This film is definitely for Sci Fi lovers.  If you come into this expecting anything other than a cheesy Sci Fi you are bound to be disappointed.  But I love Sci Fi films in all their forms, whether they are good or not, so I always find this film a delight to watch.

A commercial freighter is transporting civilians through space.  When they ae forced to land on a desolate planet, they discover it inhabited by murderous creatures that hide in the darkness.  On a planet with three suns and endless daylight that wouldn’t normally be problem.  But they have arrived on the cusp of a month long eclipse that will plunge the entire planet into total darkness. And their only hope of survival may lie with a dangerous, escaped convict with the ability to see in the dark.

This whole thing is classic Vin Diesel.  Over the top action, a snarky, enigmatic hero with a dangerous side.  A race to the heart pounding finale.  If anyone other than Vin Diesel had been cast here it woudn’t have felt right.  And of course he is cast perfectly.  Always rushing to rescue at the last moment with a snappy comment.  Just perfect.

This film being made in 2000, means that the limited CGI they had available is understandably ridiculous, but they rely on it only very sparingly.  Most of the terror and atmosphere is created with nothing more than ominous shadows only very quick flashed of the CG creatures.  A very clever way to draw attention away from the lack of resources of the time.  Not something that would happen during a Sci Fi horror movie now (Cloverfield Aside of course.) This does mean though that although the film isn’t the best, it has aged pretty well considering.  It’s iffy status doesn’t come from it being dated.  Just from it’s overall average quality.

A million films have been made of the same premise.  And this one is nothing new or spectacular.  But it is a favourite of mine and one that I would recommend to anyone with a soft spot for Sci Fi, who isn’t that concerned about their films being the cream of the crop.

If you are thinking of seeing this one, you should go do it now!

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