David Twohy's PITCH BLACK
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
I recently re-watched this scifi-horror film from 2000 and boy was I impressed.
The movie starts with a bang — an amazing crash sequence. It then proceeds to turn a massive series of movie clichés on their head by re-imagining a breathless series of adventures as a small band of (dwindling) survivors fend off hordes of vicious aliens that only come out at night — a night that only occurs every 22 years on this planet.
Vin Diesel plays Riddick for the first time. Everyone else in the cast is convincing. The physical sets are very impressive; somehow dilapidated ships and shelter spaces are made to look fresh and different, partly through attention to fine detail. Color is used imaginatively thoughout as a complex multi-star solar system generates different color schemes as celestial mechanics do their thing. Finally, the aliens themselves are among the nastiest things you’ll ever see.
Despite the age of this movie — it was released in 2000 with a special edition in 2004 — the special effects and CGI hold up remarkably well, a testament to the director’s focus on creativity and imagination.
This is definitely a movie that appeals to primal fears, especially if you’re afraid of the dark. But it is definitely a fun ride.
Review copyright (c) 2013 by Dennis D. McDonald