Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles Local Scene About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore

  Publicity Stills of "The Hitcher"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Genre: Thriller
Director: Dave Meyers
Cast: Sean Bean, Sophia Bush & Zachary Knighton
RunTime: 1 hr 23 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16 (Violence)
Official Website: http://www.thehitchermovie.net/

Opening Day: 29 March 2007


This remake of the classic Rutger Hauer horror flick finds two college students taking a perilous trip through the desert after they pick up a mysterious hitchhiker. Grace Andrews and Jim Halsey are a collegiate couple who are tormented by the mysterious hitchhiker John Ryder, a.k.a. The Hitcher. The young couple hit the road in a 1970 Oldsmobile 442, en route to spring break. But their pleasure trip soon turns into a waking nightmare. The initial encounters with Ryder are increasingly off-putting for Grace and Jim, and they bravely fight back when he ambushes them. But they are truly blindsided when he implicates them in a horrific slaying and continues to shadow them. The open road becomes a suspenseful, action-packed battleground of blood and metal as, in trying to elude not only Ryder but also New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Esteridge's officers, Grace and Jim must fight for their lives and face their fears head-on.

Movie Review:

Dave Meyers’s first studio budget film, “The Hitcher” curiously enough seems to want to draw more inspiration from Steven Spielberg’s masterclass in suspense, “Duel” than it does from its predecessor in 1986’s “The Hitcher”, which starred a creepy Rutger Hauer as the titular mass murderer. Unfortunately, this fails to hit the mark in all respects that it might actually just proof how mind-boggling putrid the genre has become.

I find myself forced early on to categorically state how abhorrently unnecessary and redundant this new envisioning truly is. A familiar gripe that I affirm is how down in the dumps the genre has become when it cannibalises its own inspirations lock, stock and barrel with no aspirations other than to draw in cineplexers with too much time and too much money to spend on dreck.

I’m also forced to concede that as someone who appreciated the 1986 original, it beggars the mind to even think that anyone would find its remake welcome or even be indifferent to it. From the announcement of this remake back when “The Amityville Horror” remake hit the top of the box office, I started to blame Michael Bay as much as anyone with his Platinum Dunes production company that has built a shaky reputation on disfiguring originals as well as having a slate of upcoming remakes, including Hitchcock’s “The Birds” unfortunately referenced in this film as well. I wonder how thrilled Bay would be when a music video hack is commissioned a decade down the line to remake one of the movies from his inventory of derivative schlock.

The original had quite a number of undercurrents that had become apparent through the years as it sifted through the cult followings that followed its then refreshing and audacious preoccupation with intense predatory malevolence and gruesome set pieces. The 2007 manifestation is clearly uninspired. Replacing Hauer’s glacial, calculating stare of with Sean Bean’s maniacal glare, the remake consciously substitutes menacing suspense for yet another run-of-the-mill slasher. Like its recent NC-16 brethren, these movies are pure artifice, nothing more.

Sophia Bush goes down the road of many teenage starlets and trades in her sex object status for damsel in distress slasher flicks as her television series winds down to a close. Her companion in idiocy is Zachary Knighton, straight out of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue and dull as a board. It’s just one of those films where collegiate characters seem stupider than they should be, when you gag yourself from irately shouting out for them to look behind and try to keep your eyes from rolling right out of your sockets from the inanity going on in front of you. Of course, this is just one of the scripts “techniques” to keep true tension out of the film, choosing instead to use the predictability of unpredictable scare tactics to keep attention right on the screen at all times.

I can’t think of much ways the remake could have expanded on the original, or even service itself as a contemporary outtake on the original premise. But I do know when a remake manages to be just not superfluous but actually offensive to the original, it then has truly become part of a depressed industry and another sad indictment of the modern thriller genre.

Movie Rating:

(Just depressing in so many ways)

Review by Justin Deimen

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2007, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.