While driving through the New Mexico Desert during a rainy night, the college students Jim Halsey and his girlfriend Grace Andrews give a ride to the hitchhiker John Ryder. While in their car, the stranger proves to be a psychopath threatening the young couple with a knife, but Jim succeeds to throw him out of the car on the road. On the next morning, the young couple sees John in another car with a family, and while trying to advise the driver that the man is dangerous, they have an accident. While walking on the road, they find the whole family stabbed in the car, and John sees that the driver is still alive. He drives to a restaurant seeking for help, but the police blame Jim and Grace to the murder and send them to the police station. However, John kills the policemen and pursues the couple, playing a tragic and violent mouse and cat game with Grace and Jim.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
During the car chase, a 2001 or newer model Crown Vic is spun sideways by the hitcher. However, when the same car is shown rolling over, the Crown Vic flying through the air is a late 90's model. See more »
Following advice from the BBFC the distributor elected to make minor cuts to the film in order to achieve their desired '15' classification. The cuts removed sight of blood pumping from a man close-to death (too sadistic for a '15') and sight of blood spurting from a slit throat (too graphic for a '15'). The uncut version is available on DVD and HD DVD with an 18 classification. See more »
Another horror remake? No real surprise there. However what did catch me off guard was this one was actually halfway decent. While it didn't offer anything new, as it basically was a hash between the original and the straight to video sequel, the movie as a whole was good especially when compared to the garbage remakes we've been bombarded with these past few years. But considering the original wasn't all that great of a film technically speaking, then it'd be impossible to really consider this in that caliber either. It is safe to say though that "The Hitcher" accomplished what it set out for.
The plot is utterly unbelievable but if you can let that go it's enjoyable. The acting is appropriate and Sean Bean was great. While I did wind up preferring Rutger Hauer, it was mainly due to the dark sense of humor he added to his character. Another difference between the two was Sean came across as detached and suicidal, while Rutger was the more cunning and evil nemesis almost like an alter ego of the protagonist. Nevertheless, Sean was thoroughly able to creep the hell out of me with great success and achieved it with more subtlety. Sophia Bush was really good and to call her a sight for sore eyes in this would be an understatement. Neal McDonough as always played his typical supporting role with ease, despite being slighted with very little screen time. This was the first time I've watched Zachary Knighton on the big screen and he came through perfectly as an everyday real-looking college guy. For what this flick was, there surprisingly wasn't any really bad acting as usual. In fact even the 1986 version had many moments of straight cheese. So praise is in order for the cast without a doubt. That is if the characters themselves were written in better, as enough depth wasn't provided for them that made the audience actually want to care about anyone in particular.
One odd thing I noticed that while there were many scenes which were exactly the same as its predecessors, about three of the more important ones from the first installment weren't incorporated, and did add a strike against it. As for the gore factor, it was certainly bumped up a notch even to a horror level at some points and did show an incredible amount of violence. Another factor that made the original work slightly better was its cooler back-story. The role reversal in this one actually worked against it in the end, as it didn't make as much sense and took away from the overall storyline.
As far as thrills go it was sufficient in this regard and had a lot of parts that made the viewer jump however nothing too shocking. My personal favorite scene was the car chase since it utilized the perfect blend of cinematography, music, and action. Other factors that this movie had going for it was there wasn't much downtime. Even the slower parts didn't get boring. This was mainly due to the overall short length of the film in general but can also be attributed to excellent pacing. The blend of genres alternating between thriller, horror, and action was also carried out very effectively. That and the ending does provide the desired level of gratification. But that's about where the praise stops.
If you want to be swept away or completely engulfed into extravagant cinema then this isn't what you're looking for. If you're looking for an okay experience as far as remakes go then you probably won't go wrong with this. True fans of the original will doubtfully be enthralled by this rendition though and I'd advise them to steer clear as nothing worthwhile is added in any sense. Ultimately Sophia Bush learns to never slow down again for any hitchhikers, but this is one time that in the end, it was worthwhile for me to stop for just this once.
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