Pitch Black is a science-fiction thriller featuring Vin Diesel as the psychopath/criminal Riddick who would later feature in a sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick.
The movie follows in the grand tradition of the many creature-feature movies that transplanted the slasher genre into space. Of course the science fiction stuff is just fluff, used for background and story rationale. As always, there many “coincidences” that make the story possible.
The basic story is simple: A lone spaceship crashes on a remote planet, in a star system with three suns. Due to the particular configuration of the solar system, the planet is always bathed in sunlight. Except once every 22 years, when the planet our motley crew crashed on is in between two gas giants – and total darkness descends upon the world.
The surviving crew members soon discover that they face a species of aliens that has a particular taste for human blood. It’s vicious and extremely shy of light. And as mentioned one of the coincidences is that the crew crashes just a day before the pitch black night, and just within range of a camp of (devoured) scientists which features not only clues but also a handy escape shuttle.
Of course the movie is completely predictable from beginning to end. Most of the castaways get eaten, a small band of them escape, and Riddick turns out to be a rough hero and not a psychopath killer. There, I spoiled it for you – but did you really expect anything else from the movie? And yet, it’s an enjoyable film – It doesn’t require you to think, it doesn’t really manage to scare you, but it does have an original backdrop and some nice atmosphere. Don’t buy the DVD; borrow or rent it instead and do not expect too much or you should get ready to be underwhelmed.