I remember after one viewing of Pitch Black I went online and looked at the reviews. One of them was on a Christian Film Review site.
It obviously talked about the religious symbolism and how it’s a Christian allegory and other things I don’t remember.
I re-watched Pitch Black a few days and this time I could sense a subtle Christian theme.
This post isn’t going to be an in depth analysis of what the film is actually about, its just going to outline a possible interpretation.
Spoilers ahead by the way.
One of the characters is a Muslim priest, Imam, who is shown to have absolute faith in god. His character doesn’t really undergo any dramatic change.
The two main protagonists on the other hand, Riddick and Carolyn, who have little to no belief in god, do change.
That to me was a strong hint at the Christian theme and was what fuelled my analysis.
From a Christian perspective Pitch Black could be about how God makes us into better people by forcing us to overcome obstacles that change our character.
This theme can be seen in Riddick and Carolyn’s arcs.
Let’s start with Carolyn. Her desire seems to be to protect her passengers.
Now of course in every story there’s an antagonist who tries to stop the protagonist from achieving their desire.
But for Carolyn there’s no conscious antagonist. The obstacles she faces are just a sequence of inconveniences.
The debris that just happen to hit her ship and force it to crash land on a planet, the flesh eating aliens that just happen to live on that planet, the eclipse that just happens to cloak the planet in darkness for the aliens to come out and hunt.
As unfortunate these incidents are they force Carolyn to fight and change and in the end accomplish her desire, even though it costs her life.
These occurrences could be seen as God’s way of turning Carolyn into the person she wants to be. After all God is said to be in control of the universe.
Now let’s look at Riddick.
Being a prison convict he is immediately judged by everyone and he isn’t given a chance to be anything but a criminal.
Inconveniently however he is on a planet where something worse than him is lurking.
With great physical strength and the ability to see in the dark Riddick is the solution to the crew’s problem and is treated with more respect.
However, Riddick cares only for himself, he ignores the fact that the crew depends on him but by the end Riddick has a change of heart and saves the crew.
Once again, God has altered events so Riddick can change and become a better person.
As an atheist I appreciate how the film conveyed this theme. Its definitely present but its so subtle it doesn’t come across as too preachy and the film can still be enjoyed as a fun, witty sci-fi thriller.
Even though this is just a theory and nothing intended to be truthful, I’m confident enough to say that Pitch Black definitely says something about god and faith.
What is it? I’m not sure. It depends what kind of eyes you have. Watch it yourself and see what you find.
Thanks for reading what I had to say about it.