Screenwriter and director David Twohy continues his intriguing career of crafting challenging, well-mounted science fiction films via limited means with this somewhat derivative but highly enjoyable action thriller. Most of the casting in Pitch Black is by type and thus instantly forgettable, though given the story's haunted-house horror movie structure, this is probably by design. However, the film is anchored by Radha Mitchell and the strutting, grunting Vin Diesel, relative newcomers who prove their mettle on the big screen with reflective performances marked by detailed, intuitive choices. As he did with Warlock (1988), Disaster in Time (1992), and The Arrival (1996), Twohy takes what was intended to be a straight-to-video genre potboiler and transforms the project into something at least a cut above other examples of its type. Unfortunately, in all of these projects, the writer/director is at times overcome by shoestring budgets that hamstring his creative efforts to impress visually.