Every Chronicles Of Riddick Movie Ranked, Worst To Best

Director David Twohy’s The Chronicles of Riddick trilogy began in 2000, and the Riddick movies to date include Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Riddick. In addition to this, there is a Sci-Fi Channel special, Into Pitch Black. Now a fourth movie is coming with Riddick: Furya. Starring Vin Diesel as the eponymous Riddick, the convicted murderer/mercenary-warrior with surgically enhanced vision, the first movie was released with little fanfare in February 2000. Grossing $53 million (Box Office Mojo), it established Diesel as an up-and-coming action star. The first sequel, three years later, elevated the franchise from niche into the mainstream and was followed by the third film just under a decade later.

That the original film managed to become the sleeper hit of the year and an instant cult classic is all the more impressive considering the year of its release. 1999 is regarded as one of the all-time great years for cinema, especially for horror (Sixth Sense, Stir of Echoes, Blair Witch Project). That Pitch Black managed to make the impact it did is nothing short of miraculous. Without Pitch Black, there is no Fast & Furious franchise. Diesel has confirmed that a script for a fourth film, Riddick: Furya, had been completed and that it is headed back to Riddick’s home world with original director David Twohy back, as well. It gives fans hope that Furya will match up to the best Riddick movies, so far.

4 Into Pitch Black (2000)

The worst Riddick movie is Into Pitch Black and committed the worst sin by creating a Riddick movie where he was barely in it. For those who have never heard of it, Into Pitch Black was a sequel mixing random clips from Pitch Black with scenes of a psychologist studying Riddick while he was in prison (Vin Diesel only shows up in a cameo in security camera footage). There is also a lawman trying to find Riddick, which leads to a bizarre found footage section on the Pitch Black planet. The acting is subpar, and the movie ended up non-canon when several things changed in the big screen movies.

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3 The Chronicles Of Riddick (2004)

The Throne in Chronicles of Riddick.

Arriving in 2004, The Chronicles of Riddick is to all the Riddick movies what T2 was to The Terminator. Or, at least, that was the idea. Everything about the film was big. With a budget nearly five times that of its predecessor, the sequel was far more space opera than space horror, reflecting its PG-13 rating. Picking up five years after the first film, The Chronicles of Riddick was heavy mythological themes, turning Riddick from an unstoppable maniac to a Campbellian child of prophecy. Though it features some breathtakingly beautiful imagery, the drastic tonal shift doesn’t quite work.

2 Riddick (2013)

Riddick with his Doggie in Riddick.

Riddick goes back to the basics. The grand visuals and epic scope of the second film are abandoned in favor of a darker, grittier tone, and a narrower, more focused approach to the story, with echoes of The Road Warrior, Predator, and The Grey. Diesel’s Riddick is once again a brutal killer looking out for number one, but he’s grown and learned from his experiences in the first two films. Abandoned and injured on a desolate planet, a somewhat feral Riddick must team up with the survivors of rival mercenary groups who’ve arrived in response to his distress beacon to survive hordes of alien beasts and each other.

1 Pitch Black (2000)

Riddick sitting outside the spaceship in Pitch Black.

When it comes to horror films, simplicity works best more often than not. The first film in The Chronicles of Riddick movies, and the only true horror film of all the Riddick movies, is remarkably simple: a disparate group of survivors is marooned on a barren desert planet with perpetual daylight. Seeking refuge underground, they are set upon by hordes of monstrous creatures and their only hope of salvation is the psychotic murderer with surgically engineered eyes that can see in the dark. That’s as simple and straightforward a story as it gets, and it made Riddick an instant cult-favorite anti-hero.

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