"All you people are so scared of me. Most days I'd take that as a compliment. But it ain't me you gotta worry about now."
Pitch Black is the first entry in The Chronicles of Riddick series. After the release of its sequel, it has also been retroactively called The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black.In the year 2678, the Hunter-Gratzner, with its crew and passengers in stasis pods, passes through the debris of a comet. The resulting damage badly cripples the ship, kills some of its crew and eventually causes it to crash land on a nearby planet. The remaining survivors find themselves in a harsh, barren landscape with constant daylight due to its three suns. A bounty hunter, William J. Johns, informs them that one of the passengers was a dangerous criminal named Riddick, and worse still, he’s managed to escape during the crash.After a member of the group is killed investigating a cave, he’s the natural suspect and when eventually captured is kept under close watch. However, it soon becomes clear that not only is Riddick the least of their worries, they may actually need his help to survive.Considered the breakthrough performance of Vin Diesel, the movie was a sleeper hit despite its modest budget and was deemed successful enough to have a big budget sequel, which became The Chronicles of Riddick.
This film provides examples of:
The Addict: Implied to be the case with Johns, who steals morphine from the medkit and injects it into his eyesocket, possibly to avoid leaving visible needlemarks.
And This Is for...: Riddick cuts off all the lights on the ship prior to taking off, because he wants to kill as many of the creatures as possible when they gather around the ship. It's implied it's in honor of Fry.
Riddick: We can't leave... (beat) without saying good night...
Barrier-Busting Blow: After the suns go down and the planet is covered in darkness due to the eclipse, the Bioraptors roam free. The protagonists temporarily hide out in a storage compartment of the crashed ship. Imam sits down against a wall, but then an Alien pierces its claws through the hull right next to his head, almost impaling him.
Bat Scare: Subverted, because the flock of little chittering flyers turns out not to be harmless. At all.
Bittersweet Ending: Carolyn not only redeems herself by refusing to leave Jack and Imam, but then risks and loses her life saving the injured Riddick.
Bizarre Alien Senses: The monsters use echolocation. Shots of their P.O.V. depict this using monochromatic pixel-clouds that take the form of solid objects and show clearer resolution when they cry out.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted; Riddick can kill one creature just fine, but two of them damn near kill him (though he managed to slaughter both despite his injuries).
Contrived Coincidence: As mentioned in the Conveniently Close Planet entry, the ship happens to crash land on an inhabitable (sort of) planet, 22 months out from port, on the one day every 23 years that it has a solar eclipse, which allows thousands of carnivorous, dark-loving creatures to come to the surface and terrorize the crew.
Conveniently Close Planet: It's a good thing the interstellar freighter which was TWENTY-TWO MONTHS out from its port was passing so close to an inhabitable moon when the artificial pilot malfunctioned, isn't it?
A) Particularly at the time of the eclipse that happens every, what? 23 years? which leads to B) Depends on what you're calling 'inhabitable'.
Auto Pilot didn't fail so much as detected chunks of rock piercing the hull. Rocks tend to gather together in space, around things like planets. After 22 months, you'd think even a small miscalculation could make a big mistake, aside from space being really empty aside from some particularly dangerous parts you'd want to avoid.
Corrupt the Cutie: Riddick pulls a magnificent example with Carolyn at the end by encouraging her to leave Imam and Jack behind to come with him instead. He's practically nice about it, being helpful by telling her he will leave her, and recognising how difficult it must be but that nobody would blame her. She breaks down in front of him and he gets even nicer, encouraging her like a small child. One would think he's nothing but a Magnificent Bastard but it's likely he very much likes Carolyn.
Darkness Equals Death: The film was designed from the ground up to utilize this trope, and every single death in the movie did in one way or another.
Death Seeker: Subtly hinted at with Riddick. That trait is ditched in later incarnations.
Imam: Because you do not believe in God does not mean God does not believe in— Riddick: Think someone could spend half their life in a slam with a horse bit in their mouth and not believe? Think he could start out in some liquor store trash bin with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and not believe? Got it all wrong, holy man. I absolutely believe in God... and I absolutely hate the fucker.
Imam offers to pray with Riddick, but Riddick explains that he has nothing but loathing for God. Iman says that even though the circumstances are grim, He is with them nonetheless. Later, when it starts raining which will make the flares protecting them from the aliens go out, Riddick cynically remarks "So where the hell's your God now?" And even later, when Riddick goes back with Fry to save Jack and Imam, Iman states "There is my God, Mr. Riddick."
The scenes at the skiff. Riddick tries to convince Carolyn to abandon Imam and Jack. Once she forces him to go back for them and they've returned to the skiff, it's Imam and Jack who quietly urge Carolyn to leave the fallen-behind Riddick.
Averted. Ken Wheat, the original writer of the film with his brother, Jim, explained that in the first draft of their script The Ship had detected the Settlement and tried to land near there so as to be near an area where there might be supplies.
No Periods, Period: Averted. Riddick claims the reason the creatures are hunting them so doggedly is because "Jack" is "bleeding".
Redemption Equals Death: This almost happened to Riddick. In the original script, Riddick was supposed to die instead of Fry. Executive Meddling put a stop to that, since The Chronicles of Carolyn Fry would not have made for a decent sequel.
Keep in mind, it was redemption for Carolyn, since she almost sacrificed her crew to save herself at the start of the film.
Riddick Is About To Shoot You: Some posters and DVD covers. Rather odd, considering he doesn't wield a handgun at any point in the film, and the only firearm he ever carried was the one he took from Johns when he released him and gave back barely a minute later.
Sherlock Scan: Riddick spends the first half of the movie doing nothing but this, first predicting the types of people on the ship, then accurately describing just how the original inhabitants of the moon didn't make it offworld.
He is also able to deduce that the creatures have a blind spot from analyzing a dead one.
Paris: Paris P. Ogilvie. Antiquities dealer. Entrepeneur.
Riddick: Richard B. Riddick. Escaped convict. Murderer.
Weakened By The Light: The creatures are actually burned by any exposure to light. Additionally, Riddick's eyeshine treatment leaves him easily blinded by bright lights.
What You Are in the Dark: Both literally and figuratively; during the intro, Fry refuses to risk her life for others, and, after ditching the last of the survivors and reaching the shuttle alone, Riddick offers her the option to come with him or go back for Imam and Jack to die. Surprisingly, she not only goes back for Imam and Jack, but for Riddick when presented the choice.
Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Riddick likes children quite a lot, and they in turn seem fascinated by him - not just Jack, but Imam's younger acolyte as well. In fact he likes them enough that he refuses to kill Jack even though she's actually a girl on her period and attracting the monsters.