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Overall Rating
3.56

Awesome: 19.89%
Worth A Look35.8%
Average: 28.98%
Pretty Bad: 10.8%
Total Crap: 4.55%

12 reviews, 104 user ratings


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Pitch Black
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by Dust For Eyes

"Better off left in the dark"
3 stars

Are you afraid of things that go bump in the night? Are you afraid of things that go YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAARRRRRHHHHHHHHHHH sending your spine a-tingling, your blood a-curdling and your pants a-browning in the night? Yes? Then this is the film for you!

For those afraid of things that go bump in the night there's no need - especially if the bump is quickly followed by another - Then a series of others in a quick rhythmic fashion. That's just people enjoying themselves and if it's between consenting adults then there's nothing for you, me or anybody else to be concerned about - unless you're married to one of the sources of the bumps.

On the other hand, things that go YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAARRRRRHHHHHHHHHHH in the night might just be something to be concerned about.

In Pitch Black, the survivors of a starship crash find themselves with quite a few things to be concerned about including a disturbingly large number of things that go YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAARRRRRHHHHHHHHHHH in the night.

The transport starship, The Hunter Gratzner with a compliment of passengers that includes an incarcerated convicted murderer, gets side swiped by a meteor storm. Giving the finger and abusing the storm doesn't help so instead we get the ensuing chaos leading to the craft crashing onto a barren planet that's part of a tri-star system. The climate of the planet - although breathable - is dry and harsh due to the tri-star system seemingly keeping the planet in pretty much permanent daylight.

The survivors of the crash discover that the planet had been colonised some time in the past and find another craft to get the off the planet - no batteries though. So they have to go off to find some Duracells.

First though they have to deal with the convicted murderer who's gone missing. Then there are the tunnels that are discovered that seem to have something in them. Something that goes - you guessed it - YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAARRRRRHHHHHHHHHHH in the night. That's not a problem on a planet that has permanent daylight - unless there is a rare eclipse. What do y'know - look what's about to happen.

This film is more near the edge of you seat tension as opposed to right on the edge. It has its tense moments, but you're left not entirely convinced. It has the set up, but it doesn't quite give the final knock out punch. This is for a couple of reasons:

There's the improbable plot. First they crash on a planet that was once colonised. That might seem like terribly good luck until you find out that the survivors' timing is way out with the crucial occurrence of the eclipse. Once they have the improbable planet to crash on, and the improbable eclipse, then there is the rather improbable luck of one of the survivors having night vision. Not impossible granted, but there's some winners coming in here at rather long odds.

A bug/stalker movie has the obligatory dumb character making the obligatory dumb decisions. I don't mean to state the oblivious, but I was rather oblivious to the thinking behind some of the characters' actions. Pitch Black makes you want to go up to the characters, give them a good slappin,' tell them to wake up to them-Goddamn-selves and have a think about it. No, running out by yourself into the dark is not a good idea.

The film also has some misplaced humour that doesn't quite work. Maybe it was the timing - Maybe it was the delivery or maybe it just wasn't funny.

The film was written and directed by David Twohy - the script writer for such failed-to-get-off-the-grounders as GI Jane and Waterworld. Visually this film is excellent - the film has a nice design with the creatures and the planet. It was filmed in Australia with washed out colours that make it barely recognisable, but nicely alien. The creatures (a combination of swarming bees and the attitude of sharks) remind of Hitchcock's The Birds.

It's the story and the performances that let the film down. Mitchell and Diesel are OK, but that's only because Diesel's character is so mean and Mitchell is so cool.

Ultimately Pitch Black stumbles half way through. If you are not forgiving and patient you'll be running out of the theatre screaming YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAARRRRRHHHHHHHHHHH.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1801&reviewer=166
originally posted: 05/23/00 22:26:53
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2016 Boston SciFi Film Festival For more in the 2016 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell i dont hate u scott ur right its derivative cool but derivative 4 stars
10/13/13 David H. didn't make sense to me 2 stars
2/01/13 jcar a very good scfi flick with good effects, acting, action, and diesdel kicking butt! 4 stars
1/29/12 hurdygurdy man Plot on thin ice, c'mon frosbitten and didn't cover gloveless hand?? Left me cold. 2 stars
7/24/10 bagwell5 A rip off of Alien, but still well done. Cole Hauser gives a great performance, 5 stars
6/09/10 Harvey Scott Great introduction to the Riddick character. LIked it! 4 stars
8/30/09 CTT Nicely realized sci-fi 4 stars
2/17/09 Samuel NIce aliens(called biorapters) awesome movie 5 stars
1/11/09 PAUL SHORTT NEITHER SCARY NOR EXCITING 1 stars
8/30/08 Shaun Wallner This one was kinda boring. 2 stars
3/02/08 Pamela White Diesel's best movie so far 5 stars
10/13/07 Carlos Vin Diesals best movie hands down... 5 stars
8/11/07 TheRealNapster I loved this Film. It made it into my collection 5 stars
8/08/07 TigerSlap Erik Childress is so full of shit! This movie is great entertainment! 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Fun action thriller, but they could do a bit better than expected. 3 stars
1/18/07 David Pollastrini great action, great gore 5 stars
6/08/06 William Goss Shameless sci-fi rehash that is loads more fun than it has any right to be. 4 stars
3/10/06 Dk A poor mans Alien it never really gets going 2 stars
3/05/06 chris f brilliant film way better that the trashy sequel 5 stars
1/02/06 cody a alien ripoff but a cool scfi action flick with cool characters, but ending stunk 3 stars
12/08/05 JM Synth Mr Diesel's only genuinely good film 4 stars
8/12/05 ES Better than its piece of garbage sequel 4 stars
5/27/05 Jake Great, sci-fi fun 5 stars
12/31/04 Max Without Vin this movie would of bombed! 5 stars
11/14/04 Rachel I love this movie. Great script (for the most part) intensely funny moments, good acting 5 stars
9/04/04 alisha vanmaanen wierd but i was still held captive to the end 3 stars
8/17/04 Herolder Yeah, it's an Alien rip-off, but a good one 5 stars
7/26/04 Vince Totally agree wth Star-Crosser : great cinematography + Vin Diesel. Excellent. 5 stars
6/10/04 Ali Hbous A fine piece of Sci-Fi 4 stars
3/01/04 Star-Crosser The cinematography and Deisel's suprising charisma make it worthwhile. 5 stars
12/09/03 John Bale Like an old Saturday Arvo Serial but the imaginative photography makes it watchable. 3 stars
11/12/03 Twenty-Two YUMMMmmmmmm........ Vin Diesel! 5 stars
11/02/03 American Slasher Goddess Extremely dull clone of Aliens. 1 stars
10/03/03 Timmy Best movie since "Aliens" 5 stars
7/08/03 Shawn Great Movie! Watch it a couple of times and it gets even better. 4 stars
5/28/03 Alana This film is awesome - Vin Diesel's best performance to date& excellent cinematography. 5 stars
5/27/03 mr. Pink An Alien rip-off, which isn't even a good one at that. Really dull! 1 stars
3/24/03 Sugarfoot I need no more proof, when I say that Scott Weinberg is a dumbass. 4 stars
12/31/02 Bob Hardcore Boring commercial crap. 1 stars
11/24/02 Sweetgrrl1972 It's super fun fantastic! Who goes to a movie like this to think anyway? 5 stars
9/23/02 Eloise i enjoyed the blood'n guts, the birdy monsters and Vin, yummeee 5 stars
7/05/02 KMG The little girl looked like Leaf Phoenix when he was in "Space Camp" 3 stars
6/11/02 Zefram Mann What would have been a throwaway flick is made great by the dynamic Diesel's character adds 5 stars
3/03/02 Butterbean Great Movie!!! I'm looking forward to the sequel! 5 stars
2/19/02 Katie Sheppard I loved it!!!! Vin Diesel is sooooooooooo sexy and he plays and awesome killer!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/14/02 Chris Bradford Im a big fan of Vin Diesel 5 stars
1/29/02 Gracy Lionheart Predictable, but fun to watch if you're in the right mood. Better than The Patriot any day. 4 stars
1/27/02 Andrew Carden Pretty Good For A Movie That Was In Theaters For Only 1 Month. 4 stars
12/11/01 Jim Reasonably suspenseful, cool cinematography, nasty aliens, and Radha Mitchell in a tank top 4 stars
10/31/01 Sumixam Not too bad, the creatures aren't overly exciting but a promising flick nevertheless 4 stars
10/04/01 Mark Conway Can i just say this is one of the crapest movies i have ever seen in my life. 1 stars
10/01/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good! but the ending was unexpected?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 stars
8/14/01 Kitty It's an original movie plus Vin Diesel is in it! 4 stars
8/03/01 KC Au Pretty forgettable flick. Not scary. 3 stars
7/31/01 Robert best sci fi movie ever 5 stars
7/08/01 officer 412/l nice looking sci-fi on a low budget 3 stars
6/21/01 Beth The movie kicks ass Vin Deisel is a major hottie in it 5 stars
6/19/01 jessica ohh Vin, baby 4 stars
6/15/01 M Hatfield Wow! Wot a bod! 5 stars
6/14/01 Elaine Lewis Fucking Awesome 5 stars
6/11/01 ReeRee757 Mmmm...... Vin Diesel. Ay papi. Oh yeah, loved the movie too. 5 stars
5/29/01 Desire' Vin , baby you are sooooo fine!!! 4 stars
4/23/01 TigerDream Cool effects and all but still a crappy story to go with it and very dull 2 stars
2/06/01 Trashstar I liked the colour scheme of the movie, liked the charecters, almost awesome,bad ending. 4 stars
1/07/01 Toni That movie kicked so much ass I loved it! Vin ,baby you are hott! 5 stars
12/08/00 jetcat punchy, tidy script with cool filming style 4 stars
11/20/00 Matthew Bartley Thoroughly enjoyable 4 stars
11/14/00 The EVIL Penguin Made Deisel a rising star. 4 stars
11/14/00 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Pointless, derivative, and DULL!! I can't believe people actually dug this. 1 stars
11/13/00 Neil Not a bad movie with good effects and very origional 4 stars
10/18/00 terry c compared to anaconda this one shines 4 stars
6/08/00 Jaime N. Christley Underrated sci-fi actioner; fast, well-made, and SHORT 4 stars
6/01/00 Keiros Shoulda spent an extra coulple of million to make Alien5 2 stars
5/21/00 mellemel BORING! Why did I waste my money! 1 stars
5/19/00 MR joel harwood VERY DRY 4 stars
5/10/00 The worst killer alien movie I think I have ever seen. 1 stars
4/18/00 Brien kidna sucked 3 stars
4/12/00 Dr. Rev. Krule, MD Decent movie, well worth seeing Diesel, good special effects 4 stars
3/24/00 malcolm had some nice shots. too coincidental. Diesel eats up the screen. 3 stars
3/22/00 Adam Fun, that's it. 4 stars
3/21/00 bonedaddy what was with the glow worms 4 stars
3/21/00 El Tigre Turn off you brain and enjoy the ride. Vin is awesome. 4 stars
3/11/00 brentley Very entertaining, but script & FX could have been better. 4 stars
3/10/00 Kyle Broflovski I liked this movie better than it liked me. 4 stars
3/07/00 yankee this movie was tiring. Special effects was all there was. No plot what so ever 2 stars
3/03/00 Michael Thompson Decent fun Sci-Fi Fare 4 stars
3/01/00 PhilmPhreak Any sci fi is better than no sci fi 3 stars
3/01/00 DarkNyt Not as good as I expected, but much better than what it could have been. 4 stars
2/29/00 Captain Highcrime I've seen better; but on the up side, it could have been ALOT worse (Supernova, anyone?) 3 stars
2/26/00 Alyssa What Alien 3 SHOULD have been. Vin Diesel is incredible. 5 stars
2/26/00 Drano Cool as Fuck!! Vin Diesel kicks ass! 4 stars
2/25/00 Crispin Fully disagree with illiterate Erik. This is a well made and paced movie. 5 stars
2/25/00 Cheaps Never, ever complain about Star Wars again ! 3 stars
2/24/00 notspork are you crazy??? vin diesel is a fucking SUPERHUMAN. every female should see this movie. 5 stars
2/24/00 Wyatt Earp Way better than I expected 4 stars
2/23/00 Overflow Bitch Not bad. Expected more. 3 stars
2/23/00 Zensmile A pretty good movie. I thought the creatures were a bit hokey...but great scifi graphics. 4 stars
2/23/00 Kman Either an underfunded A film, or a well done B movie. Well worth seeing if you liked Aliens 4 stars
2/22/00 Louis Pretty good if you're bored on a saturday afternoon. 4 stars
2/22/00 Obi Wan Fucking Phat!!! Vin Diesel ROCKED in this flick. Loved it . ..expected nothing got plenty 5 stars
2/21/00 Judy Alan KICK ASS ACTION AND PRETTY DAMN SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/21/00 majawat could have been much worse 4 stars
2/21/00 Jerck Mehoff awsome 5 stars
2/21/00 Jason Kallelis Nothing special. Aliens with a few new twists. See it matinee if you want a cheap thrill 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Feb-2000 (R)
  DVD: 01-Jun-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  18-May-2000


Directed by
  David N. Twohy

Written by
  David N. Twohy
  Jim Wheat
  Ken Wheat

Cast
  Vin Diesel
  Cole Hauser
  Radha Mitchell
  Ric Anderson
  David Keith



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